The Studio Museum invites artists living or working in Harlem to join Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden to review their work and discuss their artistic endeavors. From 12 to 3pm on Sunday, February 9, Golden will hold fifteen-minute meetings with ten artists selected through a lottery system. Activating artist Theaster Gates’s work See, Sit, Sup, Sip, Sing: Holding Court in the Studio Museum atrium, this event celebrates the exhibition Radical Presence: Black Performance and Contemporary Art and the Museum’s ongoing commitment to the Harlem arts community.
Each artist should submit their name, home or studio address in Harlem and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6pm on Friday, January 31, 2014. Individuals selected through the lottery will be informed via e-mail and given further instructions on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Participants will be asked to prepare a current resume or CV, a maximum of 10 images (no original artwork) and an artist statement of 500 words or less.
Theaster Gates’s installation, See, Sit, Sup, Sip, Sing: Holding Court (2012) evokes a classroom that has been relocated to the Museum’s atrium. Created from tables, chairs and desks salvaged from a now-closed public school on Chicago’s South Side, this installation–much like a classroom–is designed as an experience for learning created by the people assembled in and around it.
Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
For Nona Faustine the restitution of her sense of wholeness as an African American woman and artist manifests in the guise of a restoration of the past, emphasis on guise. Although we see her marching up the steps of City Hall in Manhattan with nothing on but her white Sunday shoes and a pair of shackles in her left hand…she is not really trying to restore anything. It took me a while to realize it.
Her on-going photography and installation project Reconstructions is precisely that – reconstructions that attempt to replace something that was lost in the history of Blacks in America. This should not be confused with an attempt to relive the past through reenactment. Faustine’s images are more are like markers that indicate a place, an institution, an event or a person so that with her presence on that spot she does not merely remember them for the sake of remembering, she rewrites a new history for them. There on the steps of City Hall’s Renaissance Revival facade that abuts a slave burial ground or standing on her soap box at the intersection of Water and Wall Streets where a market once trafficked in humans, she is the fearless daughter of them all, the new Venus of Willendorf reborn to reconstruct a history, the ultimate act of fecundity.
Faustine easily acknowledges the impossibility of getting at what is essential with this task she has set for herself, because to reconstruct a history is an altogether different action than to restore one. Hers is not an attempt to historicize the present but to re-write the past. She did the research, discovered who bought and sold black slaves in colonial New York, and where, and how they were transported in and out of the city. But there is no Aushwitz or Treblinka for the victims of slavery in America despite the common knowledge that an estimated 10-12 million Africans died in the Middle Passage alone, and countless others succumbed to starvation, physical abuse and disease once on these shores. In a way the images function as memorials that she makes herself, one at a time, with her body, the naked truth of its blackness braced against a cold city, reconstructing a narrative where the enslaved has dignity and is not afraid.
Clifford Owens (via blackcontemporaryart)
Mark H.C. Bessire, MIT Press 2002.
“CLAIMING TO BE THE FRIENDLIEST BLACK ARTIST IN AMERICA©,
William Pope.L confounds and conflates the public’s “expectation” of a black artist. In this role he negotiates the history of America’s relationship to difference, for example whiteness and blackness, a site he has been mining for over twenty years. Pope.L’s practice, made up of abjects, street performances and installation/performances, also illuminates the American des ire to consume and neatly package ideas and behaviors that construct identity and bogus racial stereotypes. Lowery Stokes Si ms has suggested that his practice be viewed as a “hybridization confronting the specter of the black male as menace,” in light of the American expectation and receptian of the black mate and black artist.’ Ta un pack these issues, make them visible and to address the margins between the “haves and have-nots,” Pope.l consumes The Wall Street Journal, paints in peanut butter, sells mayonnaise, negotiates decay and the abject, and is unafraid to confront such American icons as John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr….”
Last night I went to Stonewall and watched this video of Shade Compositions. It was 48 minutes (this is a shorter version) and really interesting.
This is a performance piece recorded at SF MoMA. It examines the appropriation of some of the mannerisms of Women of Color by gay men of all races. (though I think everyone in this performance is a person of color). They throw shade and it is both beautiful and funny.