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Andrea Peña
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Asim Waqif
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After School

Teen Art Cooperative
Our Mission

The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Renee Cox

Soul Culture

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Materials: Projection mapping

An immersive experience of Black Bodies in Motion, Soul Culture consists of digitally manipulated black and white portraits that display self-similar fractal-like patterns. They create sculptural kaleidoscopes of the human body while exploring the power of symbols as elements of collective imagination. Bridging the gap between the old and new technology has brought on new challenges and endless possibilities. The simplicity and connectivity of the fractal concept is meant to engage the viewer in a profoundly different way, bringing a certain peace, reflection and joy.

Artist Statement

Best known for provocative images that have pushed the boundaries of art and popular culture, Renee Cox is a photographer, a sculptor, and an innovator. Cox is both heavily referenced and draws from a wide range of references ranging from traditional West African Art to Manet, Picasso, Avedon, Van Der Zee, and Bettye Saar. This rich collage of influences shapes her interdisciplinary process which utilizes heroism, nudity, religious imagery and female sexuality to deconstruct and re-imagine traditional notions of race, class and gender. Her larger than life self portraits boldly challenge patriarchy while celebrating the sacred feminine. For over 3 decades, Renee has captured herself and a colorful array of character in ways that honor tradition while expanding perspectives.



1414 Monterey Street, 3rd Floor

About The Artist

Renee Cox received her BA from Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY) and MFA from the School of Visual Arts (New York, NY). Upon graduating, she participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Program (New York, NY). Her work has since been included in solo and group exhibitions at prominent institutions including Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, UK), The New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, NY), Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, NY), Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), British Museum at Yale University (New Haven, CT), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY), Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia, SC) and “Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet to Matisse to Today” at Columbia University (New York, NY). She has received several professional accolades including the Artists Fellowship Award from the New York Foundations for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH) and the Aaron Matalon Award, The National Gallery of Jamaica (Kingston, Jamaica). Ms. Cox is presently an associate professor at Columbia University and has served as a critic at Yale College of Art (New Haven, CT), New York University (New York, NY) and Parsons School of Design (New York, NY). Renee’s work and process have been officially immortalized in Smithsonian’s Archive of American Art.


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