This publication accompanies the first comprehensive museum survey of the American artist.
Chakaia Booker: The Observance explores the artist’s signature form—monumental works made of rubber—while showcasing her artistic innovations across mediums. With new photography of the wide-ranging exhibition at ICA Miami, historic images, and newly commissioned scholarship, the publication illuminates key themes in the artist’s practice. With special attention to Booker’s totemic and anthropomorphic assemblages fabricated from cast-off tires, the volume highlights Booker’s ongoing expression of ecological and technological concerns, examinations of racial and economic disparities, and her interest in the symbolism of the automobile in American culture.
Alongside essays by Erin Jenoa Gilbert, Aruna d’Souza, and Stephanie Seidel as well as an interview with the artist by Alex Gartenfeld, this catalog includes some of Booker’s most topical works, including Chu Ching (2012), a cross on a wheelbarrow that resembles Jesus being dismounted from the cross. The artist’s photographic series, “Foundling Warrior Quest” (2010) and “Graveyard Series” (1995), are featured to explore the importance of performance and mythology in her practice. Anchoring the book is The Observance (1995), an immersive installation made of deconstructed rubber tires and tubes—Booker’s first large-scale installation in this signature material, chosen by the artist for its associations with riots.
Chakaia Booker is a 1995-96 Studio Museum in Harlem Artist-in-Residence Alumni.