2019 Season III


Artist Statement/ Biography

Helina Metaferia's work examines the relationship of the body to the politics of space. Formally, her art exists as a hybrid of performance, video, mixed media collage, and assemblage. Her research based practice incorporates written and oral histories, black liberation movement archives, and perspectives on black subjectivity within Western and African art histories. Inspired by traditional art practices found within her Ethiopian ancestry, and by an interest in art as activism, Helina’s work explores how art objects can be activated through actions, and how actions can leave meaningful relics. She often uses her own body in her performances, as well as the bodies of others in her community through social engagement, participation, and collaboration.


Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of performance and visual art. She has exhibited her work at venues including Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (Detroit). Helina completed her MFA in 2015 at Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her artist residencies include Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Ox-Bow, among others. She has taught in the BFA and MFA programs at the San Francisco Art Institute, Michigan State University, and Parsons Fine Arts. She is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Gateway Fellow / Assistant Professor at Brown University.