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T.J. Dedeaux-Norris Presents New Exhibit At University Galleries

Written by on September 23, 2021

University Galleries of Illinois State University Facebook Page

NORMAL, Ill. –  University Galleries of Illinois State University is currently presenting ‘T.J. Dedeaux-Norris: Second Line’ from now until December 21, 2021. 

Dedeaux recounts that her primary inspirations for ‘Second Line’ stemmed from family as well as Hurricane Katrina.

Dedeaux practiced institutional critique for this exhibition, a kind of work made within an arena that one can simultaneously critique, which had a direct impact on her art.

This was a very personal exhibition for Dedeaux, seeing that she has family from the area in New Orleans and once lived there herself.

Dedeaux also recounts that her work with the title of Second Line” is in reference to a New Orleans traditional funeral where the hearse is moved from the funeral to the burial service joined by guests and a jazz band.

Works featured in this exhibition are made to reflect these experiences of her life in New Orleans, her family, and the tragedy that befell the community in 2005. 

T.J. Dedeaux-Norris, born with the name Tameka Jenean Norris, has experimented with different aliases, or stage names, in an attempt to understand what an individual name is loaded with. She also wants to understand what that name discloses to an audience such as gender and ethnicity.

The name T.J. allows her to be recognized as a more fluid being. Where Tameka might be associated with she/her pronouns, T.J. can be them/they. She explains that Dedeaux was her mother’s maiden name and that she took this title as a way to disassociate with the emotional roles of being a daughter and become an advocate for her mother.

Dedeaux says that this identity “creates a type of mobility that may be Tameka might not have”. As a military child, Dedeaux was often on the move and always looked for an opportunity to reinvent herself with each new place she wound up at.

Letting go of the things that were not serving her as Tameka helped her reinvent herself with different attributes more suited for T.J.

‘T.J. Dedeaux-Norris: Second Line’ is being featured as a two-part show with the first part currently released and the second coming to University Galleries on October 8th.

Dedeaux says that the work installed in the first part depicts more abstract pieces, where in October the second installation will feature more portraiture works. The last chance to see the first part will be on October 3rd. The artwork is available at University Galleries in Uptown circle.