Qiaira Riley

How to Make Hot Water Cornbread

I assemble community cooking series’ video art, Instagram Lives, and paintings inspired by experiences of migration, Black femme cooking phenomenology, and care. Utilizing cooking and digital practices as spaces of rememory and ancestral veneration, I hope to facilitate moments of tenderness for Black femmes and enbys, to honor individual and collective ancestry.

In my video piece “How to Make Hot Water Cornbread,” I make my grandmother’s hot water cornbread recipe while appropriated imagery from the film “Cornbread, Earl and Me” is intermixed with text from a poem about Chicago’s Black and Indigenous beginnings as well as my own upbringing on the Southside. My work asks, “How do Black women and gender variant folks utilize the performance of their virtuality to create liberated spaces for their art and past/future existences?” I am interested in virtuality in the canonical sense of online identity as well as the potential for future existences that can continue to honor past ones.

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© Qiaira Riley