New York City, NY
Tea Time, by Theresa Chromati, references commonplace traditions as the passive residue of colonization. Yet, as the tea is taken “black,” this specific practice is recontextualized to offer a space of affirmation, solidarity, protection, and endearment. The multicolored domestic space is pungently rendered, suggesting it as a robust site of reflection on identity and social relationships. Masked black figures dressed in teacups and teapots are either seen in defense, collectively lifting a carton of milk out of their private interior, or in repose indulging in one another’s nourishment. Tea embraces a double-meaning, referencing the hot drink and its healing abilities, as well as the informal use that indicates possession of a highly coveted piece of information. The five-panel work meditates further through accompanying audio by Pangelica, with Chromati lending a bold, self-assured voice to proclaim, “I got more than enough,” against sounds of crying lambs, gas escaping bubbles, and an ambient tropical storm.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.