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Black Chalk Intimacy

Julieta Tetelbaum's Solo Exhibition

IA&A at Hillyer Gallery - Washington DC, US

May 3–June 2, 2024

Black Chalk Intimacy immerses visitors in the intimate world of a woman with Down’s Syndrome, who writes on the wall with black chalk a list of daily activities to organise her life. The exhibition features a continuous screening of "Black Chalk" 8-minute short film, still frames from the film, and sculptures created especially for this exhibition as symbols of the themes explored. Enhanced ambient sounds, like chalk scratching, footsteps, and ticking clocks, envelop the space, evoking the subjectivity of the main film's character and conveying the sensation that a secret has been revealed, as if someone's intimacy has been entrusted to us. Additionally, the "Chalk Wall" invites visitors to write their main daily activity, fostering interaction and inclusion in the evolving artwork. These multi-sensory elements are designed to foster active participation by engaging visitors' senses. Through this immersive experience, "Black Chalk Intimacy" invites viewers to empathise with the challenges and resilience of individuals with functional diversity, promoting empathy and awareness.

  • Black Chalk (Drawing Scene)
  • Black Chalk (Hardware Store Scene)

Artist Statement

As a neurodivergent artist and the creative force behind "Black Chalk Intimacy", I'm driven by a profound urge to challenge social norms through raw, unfiltered expression.


By defying conventional storytelling and embracing total creative freedom, I create a platform for marginalized voices, actively challenging social constructs, urging viewers to question preconceived notions, and embrace a broader understanding of the human experience.


For "Black Chalk Intimacy", I have drawn inspiration from the intimacy of the human mind, exploring the perspective of a woman with Down's Syndrome. I have delved into the exhaustion felt by individuals with functional diversity in a capitalist system that disregards those who can't conform to its productivity standards. Society deems bodies that can't adapt as disabled, but it's society itself that disables us. Thus, deficiency is a construct of social and cultural norms.


This exhibition is an intimate invitation, through a multi-sensory journey, to appreciate vulnerability's raw strength and foster empathy for those with functional diversity. Above all, "Black Chalk Intimacy" is a celebration of our shared experiences as sentient beings in a diverse world.

Copyright © 2024 by Julieta Tetelbaum. All rights reserved.

  • Black Chalk (Drawing Scene)
  • Black Chalk (Hardware Store Scene)
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