Dominique Moody works at the intersection of assemblage, performance, and life. In tune with her ancestral diasporic kin from West Africa, her practice is an ode to more than sixty years of life as an urban nomad. Moody uses everyday objects to create assemblages, transforming abandoned items like glass bottles, wood, and toys into sculptures and site-specific installations. Her work is part of a long-standing tradition of sculpture and assemblage with solid roots in the mid-twentieth-century history of South Los Angeles. In Moody’s own words, “True freedom is being at home in the world,” and as a manifestation of that ethos, in 2015 she created N.O.M.A.D., a 150-square-foot multipurpose mobile structure that the artist describes as an “inspiration studio.” As a celebration of the artist’s itinerant lifestyle, the piece proposes an exceptional case for life as a creative act while looking proactively at the housing crisis in urban centers throughout the United States. Functioning as a residence and a studio, N.O.M.A.D. offers Moody both a living space and the opportunity to merge the ethics of movement and her artistic practice, engaging with communities across the country. Moody works with neighbors and the public in dialogue, workshops, storytelling, and social exchange. Her work challenges the commodification of art and the market-driven economy, reflecting on the power of art to create spaces for reunion and domestic spaces for liberation and creation.
Dominique Moody (b. 1956, Augsburg, Germany) received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1991. Her work has been exhibited at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2020, 2019, 2016, 2009, 2008, 2003); Watts Towers Arts Center, Los Angeles (2011, 2012, 2009, 1999, 1996); National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago (2008); Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles (2006); Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles (2004); and Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles (2003). She is a recipient of grants from the Finding Family Stories Project (2001) and California Community Foundation (2001), among others. Through her mobile artwork N.O.M.A.D., she has created several artist-in-residence projects, including those at Side Street Projects in Pasadena (2018); a Prospect.4 satellite at Xavier University, New Orleans (2017); and Harrison House Music Arts Ecology, Joshua Tree, California (2016).