Calli Roche

A metaphorical shucking of the body in search of the self

Free Tickets

Admission to Open Call events is free. Tickets will be available Tuesday, October 17.

To reserve free tickets, visit the Open Call 2023 Group Exhibition page.

About this commission

Calli Roche’s Death to Dermis: Ecdysis uses a variety of sculptural and pattern-making techniques to metaphorically peel back the layers of their body in search of their core. Roche’s approach as an artist makes use of sculpture, assemblage, and fabric engineering, to navigate interiority. These socio-political stream-of-consciousness narratives often address personal relationships between violence, identity, and sexuality. Death to Dermis: Ecdysis includes parts of the artist’s body translated into different materials, from dark leather to sheer organza, using the Kongo Cosmogram as a framework.

Get to Know the Artist

A Black artist sits casually on the floor of a white-walled gallery space, with one arm draped over her leg. She looks directly at us, dressed in all black wearing cap, glasses, t-shirt, pants, and boots. Around her and sculptures sitting on the ground and on a pedestal. One sculpture behind her shoulder includes spiky protrusions from a square surface.
Photo: Euhnee Cho.
Calli Roche
Calli Roche
Calli Roche, whose personal lineage and creative ancestry lie in tailoring and dressmaking, trained as a patternmaker and craftsperson. Their great grandfather was a tailor in St. Kitts; their great-great-aunt a dressmaker in the Bronx; and their great-uncle a costume maker in Birmingham, UK. They take great pride in the makers in their family tree, while fully acknowledging that they, like many other Black, poor people and non-degree-holding Black craftspeople have had to “tailor” their artistry to an income-generating praxis. Roche has shown at the Colored Girls Museum (Philadelphia), Housing Gallery (New York) Aggregate Space Gallery (Oakland), and Gallérie Perrotin (New York). They were the 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Interdisciplinary Work and the Artist in Residence at Field Projects Gallery and the Artist Alliance LES Studio Program.

part of an exhibition

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Thank you to our partners

The Sponsor of Open Call is
Support for Open Call is generously provided by

Additional support for Open Call is provided by Warner Bros. Discovery 150, The Wescustogo Foundation, and Jody and John Arnhold | Arnhold Foundation.

The creation of new work at The Shed is generously supported by the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Commissioning Fund and the Shed Commissioners.