The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) and BlackStar Projects present Terence Nance: Swarm, the first solo museum exhibition dedicated to the artist’s genre-defying and innovative practice. Curated by Maori Karmael Holmes, Swarm highlights Nance’s experimentation in film, television, sound, and performance through the presentation of six large-scale, multi-channel videos and installations that he reimagined specifically for the exhibition.

As a filmmaker, writer, actor, and musician, Nance brings an interdisciplinary approach to his practice, offering unexpected and alternative paths for creating work that layers video, sound, printed matter, and live performance in contemporary environments. He first gained national recognition for his semi-animated feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. He debuted another seminal work, Random Acts of Flyness, at the BlackStar Film Festival in 2018. Now a Peabody Award-winning HBO series, the show examines contemporary Black life in America and returned for a second season this past December.

Nance draws much of his influence from the communities in which he creates work, including his birth city, Dallas; his current home, Baltimore; and Brooklyn. His career emerged in the wake of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s; its enduring creative lineage and kinship reveals itself in his work, which imagines a future that incorporates Black needs, desires, and spirit. The exhibition’s title, Swarm, refers to a Brooklyn-based group of artists with whom he built a community in the early to mid-2000s.

Terrence Nance: Swarm is on view through July 9. The exhibition and related programs held at ICA are free and open to the public.

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Terence Nance: Swarm is curated by Maori Karmael Holmes and co-organized and presented by BlackStar Projects and the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. Major support for the exhibition has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. This project is also generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support has been provided by Danielle Anderman, Dorothy and Martin Bandier, Stacey and Benjamin Frost, Christina Weiss Lurie, Lori and John Reinsberg, and Stephanie and David Simon.