McMillian’s multi-disciplinary practice examines issues around the politics of subjectivity and cultural histories. His exhibition, Prospect Ave., is named after the artist’s previous residence of ten years, choosing this as subject because home represents one location where subjectivities are constructed, lived and performed. Various mediums are employed to dismantle notions of a fixed subjectivity and to challenge the narratives that we have woven for ourselves. Allusions to science fiction appear throughout the exhibition, offering both an alternative strategy to systems and structures that exist now as well as perspectives not rooted in a linear understanding of history or form.
A tunnel-like environment spans the entire gallery length, composed of various works the artist has made over the last three years. It commences with a large black vinyl piece, “a state of kemmering in the Council-era of corrosion”, which McMillian has sewn by-hand, bridging the idea of physical space and the body encompassing the walls and ceiling above. Materials appropriated from the artist’s residence were used in making carpet paintings and sculpture; landscape paintings create an exit in the back of the gallery. McMillian employs such strategies to interrogate class inequities within a modernist tradition. Dissecting post-consumer objects and using history as a readymade within the gallery realm, McMillian reevaluates the states of being, found inside and out of the mind. “We ain’t dead said the children don’t believe it/We just made ourselves invisible/underwater, stove-top, blue flame scientist come out with your scales up/get baptized in the ocean of the hungry.” (E. Badu)
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, McMillian lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Suzanne Veilmetter Los Angeles Projects (2010), Momentum 14: ICA Boston (2009), and The Kitchen, New York (2008). His work has been featured in several prominent group exhibitions including the upcoming “Blues for Smoke”, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (2012), “my.LA”, Sammlung-Haubrok, Berlin (2012), “Human Nature”, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2011), “The Bearden Project”, The Studio Museum, New York (2011), “Agitated Histories”, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore and traveling to SITE Santa Fe (2010), “New Art for a New Century: Contemporary Acquisitions, 2000-2010”, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach (2010), “Index: Conceptualism in California from the Permanent Collection”, The Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles (2008), “California Biennial 2008”, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach (2008), “Whitney Biennial”, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008), and “BLACK IS, BLACK AIN’T”. The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago (2008).