ARTIST Jeremy Biggers

“Defiant” is about owning our “extra-ness” especially when it isn’t welcomed, and being “extra” anyway.


AUGUST 20 - OCTOBER 1,2022

‘Defiant’ is about taking up space. Taking up as much space as necessary. For hundreds of years Black Americans have been asked to shrink ourselves and take up as little space as possible in an attempt to make others around us more comfortable. This “request” has come in many forms, from deeming the way our hair grows from our scalps as “unprofessional”, to critiquing the way we communicate with one another in public spaces as being “loud and ghetto”. It has even come in the form of internalized “anti-Blackness” by self-governing so that we appear to be as non-threatening as possible in an attempt to be seen as one of the “good ones”.

We have been taught historically in order to keep ourselves safe, we must not draw unwanted attention. Don’t be loud. Don’t be flamboyant. Don’t tell anyone you enjoy a hyper-niche anime series. Don’t rock the boat. We assimilate (even if in a small way).

Refusing to acquiesce to make someone else feel comfortable is treated as an act of aggression. So in this way, choosing to wear your hair naturally, or making outlandish fashion choices, or generally being your unapologetically authentic “Black-ass-EXTRA-self”, is an act of “defiance”.