Imposter: An Installation of Discrimination & Oral History (2018)
Exhibited at Aggregate Space Gallery in November 2018, McDaniel's first solo show Imposter featured an ambitious installation that covered the entirety of the gallery walls. This vulnerable collection of work was reflective of McDaniel's internalized feelings of being a white-passing person of color.
"The Brown Paper Bag test, established in the early 1900s, was used to segregate People of Color in the United States until the 1970s. If someone’s skin color was lighter than the paper bag, they were admitted into white spaces. When People of Color are born with lighter complexions, a frequent occurrence, they access certain privileges associated with “passing” as white. Artist Alicia McDaniel’s grandmother attempted to pass herself off as white by rejecting her Latino/Indigenous identity, customs, language, and bleaching her skin daily.
“Imposter” references how McDaniel felt within her own communities as a white passing Person of Color and is a nod to the Imposter Syndrome where she has felt that her accomplishments were achieved because of her appearance/skin color. This emanative exhibition originates within McDaniel’s and her family’s’ different experiences with racial profiling, skin privilege, and assimilation. She utilizes materials that reference systematic forms of oppression such as the Brown Paper Bag Test as a point of departure for contemporary instances of colorism and racism that still exist."