My work is about playing with what identity politics mean, where their flaws lie, and how high our own stakes are in our identities. I work to expose contradictory thinking and symbols within visual culture. As a queer, mixed race, millennial woman I work with complicated facets of identity across different planes of my life. I am never dealing with a singular, paradigmatic identity. I am always seen as other, (not black enough, not white enough, not queer enough, not straight enough), and my work seeks to find the commonalities that I can’t necessarily find for myself elsewhere. My work then becomes about signaling different parts of my identity to others in overt and covert ways. I ask what it means to image myself, others, and take responsibility for those constructed identities. I use found images, iPhone photographs, sound, installation, and poetry to meld the concept of creating different systems with trying to image my own identities. For me nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred.

I create an alternate visual language and landscape through which I can be understood in the context I want to be seen within. My past and present feel continually obfuscated by history and family. Therefore, by trying to visually engage with my world, I must mimic this kind of blockage. I sample from the images within my work to create repeated fragments of my images that act simultaneously as signals, screens, portals and walls. By sampling and re-sampling images, layering them within one another, and positioning them in conversation, I am reconstructing my process of self-identification.


ronika mcclain (b. 1992) is an an artist. she was born in oakland, california, raised by new york city, and currently resides in athens, georgia. she has a bfa in photography from parsons the new school for design, and will be seeking an mfa in studio art from university of georgia. she has a passion for pop culture, dark humor, music and unexpected sexuality. she spends most days as a barista. she works to point out the connections between art, culture, the political climate, the internet, and sexuality. she also works to point out, dismantle and destroy white supremacy by pointing out the inherent racism in our collective consciousness.

@traumadome on instagram

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