Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2018-19

(Chicago, IL)Rashayla Marie Brown

Project Description

Rage to Master is an "undisciplinary" project that combines a talk show/documentary, training manuals, and performance art to radically reform the Eurocentric art history of museums and academia. Art institutions promote that students must learn the dominant art history narrative before they are allowed to learn a more global, gender-inclusive, and politically engaged perspective. In an art world fashioned on a notion of "the West and the Rest,” Rage to Master shows the world another way to look at art that decolonises the practice and study of it in dominant museological, curatorial, and studio practices for a broad, popular audience.


Artist-scholar Rashayla Marie Brown (RMB) manages a living studio practice through installation, photography, performance, voice acting, writing, and video, using the voice and the image to enact a code of ethics beyond mere representation. A lifelong nomad who has moved 24 times, she began her artistic practice as a poet in London, England. From 2013-17, RMB served as the inaugural Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

RMB’s work has been commissioned by Bemis Contemporary, Omaha; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; and Rhodes College, Memphis; and presented internationally at Tate Modern, London; INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, New York; Krabbesholm Højskole, Copenhagen; and Turbine Hall, Johannesburg. Grants include the Artadia Award; US Dept. of Ed. FLAS Grant; and 3Arts Grant; among others.

Her work and words appear in Artforum, Blouin Modern Painters, Hyperallergic, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Prospect.4 New Orleans, and Radical Presence (CAM Houston). Her essay "Open Letter to My Fellow Young Artists and Scholars on the Margins" was shared 10,000 times online as of 2018. RMB holds degrees from Yale University and SAIC, advised by Paul Gilroy and Barbara DeGenevieve respectively, and Northwestern University.