Join us for the opening of 2019 ICP-Bard MFA candidate Freddie L. Rankin II’s solo exhibition, Notions of Subjugation and the Transference of Power, at the ICP-Bard MFA Studios in Long Island City.

Notions of Subjugation and the Transference of Power is a new body of work by photographer and visual artist Freddie L. Rankin II. The ongoing series of seven photographs took shape via an intellectual investigation to examine patriarchy, respectability politics, and the hierarchical structures that exist within our society specifically across gender lines, but also racial and socio-economic ones. Using self-portraiture as an initial point of departure, this work leans on the historical tension of involuntary oppression while actively exploring the act of voluntary submission. The duality is hyper-emphasized in the sharp contrast between the black-on-black and white-on-black images that coax at the notion of privilege and the partners/subjects of oppression. Rankin unravels the complex layers inherent on both sides (oppression and submission) with a careful performative ploy, teasing at a willingness or unwillingness to release one’s own privilege held, experienced, or inherited.


Memphis-born Freddie Rankin II has been a photographic artist since he received his first camera at twenty years of age. Self-taught, Rankin has had a notable fascination with film photography, traveling across the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States, capturing what he deems a deeply “personal narrative…the untold story of life as an African-American male in a cross-cultural world.” Rankin graduated from Morehouse College and moved to Florence, Italy for two years. Following his time in Italy, he moved to New York City and began working on a mix of editorial and commercial projects from music collaborations and behind-the-scenes footage for New York, Milan, and Paris fashion weeks, to product lookbooks for emerging fashion labels.

Opening Reception

Thursday, April 18 | 6–9 PM

On View

April 19–21 | By appointment. Contact:


The ICP-Bard MFA Studios are located at 24-20 Jackson Avenue in Queens. Take the E or M train to Court Square-23rd Street, 7 or G train to Court Square, or the B62 Bus to Jackson Ave/David St.


Image: Freddie L. Rankin II, Untitled (Notions of Subjugation and the Transference of Power), 2018.