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A headshot of a nonbinary artist with brown skin, large dark eyes and short curly hair smiles at the camera. Their right arm is crossed over their left shoulder and rests on their floral shirt. A grouping of candles, representing their ancestors, can be seen behind them.

Photo courtesy of the artist.


Indira Allegra

They // Them // Theirs

Performance Artist and Sculptor

Oakland, California

The physical nature of my work and emotional intensity of it helped me recover from each of the 5 surgeries I had between 2020 and 2021. My work with unseen forces in my practice, heightened my intuition about the inner workings of my body during moments of emergency and healing. Being an artist isn't just about making art, it is about how the practice sculpts you into a wiser, more courageous, compassionate and flexible being.”

Indira Allegra is deeply informed by Quiet, interiority, animism and the ritual, relational and performative aspects of weaving. As a conceptual artist and recognized leader in the field of performative craft, they take weaving off the loom and use it as a framework to explore interlocking tensions which haunt non-human and human relationships. Allegra’s performances and installations explore the poetics of sites and objects, revealing what they might be memorials to. It is their combination of past experiences as a sign language interpreter, domestic violence counselor, sex worker, and union organizer which affords them the courage and sensitivity to work with grief, longing and desire for communication directly.

Recognition for their work includes a Burke Prize, Gerbode Choreography Award, Art Matters Artist2Artist Fellowship, Mike Kelley Artist Project Grant, and Joseph Henry Jackson literary award, among many others.Their work has been featured at the Museum of Arts and Design, the Arts Incubator in Chicago, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Center for craft, and the Museum of the African Diaspora. Their commissions include performances for SFMOMA, the de Young Museum, the Wattis Institute, and the SFJAZZ Poetry Festival.

Allegra’s writing has been featured in the journal TEXTILE: Cloth and Culture and American Craft Magazine; they also have forthcoming contributions to the ART/WORK book series (Princeton University Press) and Manual: a journal about art and its making (RISD Museum).

Donor -This award was generously supported by the USA Board of Trustees.

This artist page was last updated on: 07.12.2024

A photograph of an outdoor performance on a waterfront. A performer leans back, supported by taut red ribbons tied at their waist that stretch beyond the frame to the right. The performer wears a white shirt, red pants, and a medical mask.

Corresponding Sites, 2021. 30 minutes. Commissioned by The Wattis Institute.

Photo by Chani Bockwinkel.