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Rebirth, A Baptism & Prayer
“The Mbira is not just an instrument to us. It is like a Bible…It is the way in which we pray to God.”
My theme came about when I began to question why most Africans turn to Christianity and in doing so end up losing their cultural identity and faith in their own traditional cultures. This fascinated me to the point where I felt I had to communicate and bring forth the beauty and purity in traditional Shona culture that seems to have been lost for decades.
The Mbira becomes a positive symbol of cultural identity and because of it some Shona people have kept their faith in traditional culture.
(1775 x 880)
Oils and Charcoal on MDF
Kerry James Marshall Souvenir III, detail, 1998 acrylic with glitter on unstretched canvas banner 9 x 13
When The Witnesses Are Gone
Charcoal, pastel, marker and graphite on paper. 30 x 40 inches.
Title inspired by a lyric except from “Dance Me To The End of Love” by Madeleine Peyroux.
Wishes above Needs
Oil on canvas
80.5 x 65.5cm
Lynette Yiadom Boakye by Sebastian Kim for Interview Magazine
Gearing up for a night out on the town? Let this kaleidoscopic ensemble by Stephen Burrows inspire your late night wardrobe! Burrows was the first African-American fashion designer to gain international stature, rising to prominence in the 1960s with his inventively cut and patterned designs. Always a fashion innovator, his eye-catching ensembles have graced the backs of trendsetters like the designer’s muse, supermodel Pat Cleveland, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Explore more of the Museum’s Burrows’ pieces.
“Woman’s Ensemble: Top and Skirt,” 1971-72, Designed by Stephen Burrows
— Langston Hughes, The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain (via millionen)
Fore artist spotlight
b. 1982, Tuscon, AZ
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA
Nicole Miller creates multi-channel video installations that reflect the fragmentation and multiplicity of personal history. In the two-channel video Daggering (2012), Miller juxtaposes footage of the Caribbean dancehall trend “daggering,” in which dancers simulate sexual interactions, with footage of the artist performing ballet exercises—the artist’s first appearance in her own videos. The daggering footage was filmed in a nightclub in Brooklyn. Her camera lingering on male and female dancers’ agile bodies, Miller reveals the shifts of control and agency as they pair off or perform solo.
The spontaneity and uninhibited movement of daggering contrasts with the rigidity and formality of ballet, and the narration that links both channels. The speaker, in a proper and restrained voice, relays coming-of-age tales of desire and humiliation, mixing fiction with autobiographical details drawn from Miller’s experiences. As the two forms of dance are brought together visually, the speaker’s voice adds a new narrative of identity and emergent womanhood, troubling the imagery juxtaposed onscreen.
Like previous video works The Conductor (2009) and Untitled (David and Darby) (2012), Daggering uses the moving image to re-imagine and reconstruct interpretations of self.
—Abbe Schriber, Curatorial Assistant, The Studio Museum in Harlem
images: Daggering (video stills) (2012). 2 channel video with sound
TRT 34:00. All courtesy the artist
Bronx Gothic, 2014
Performance at Danspace Project, part of the Coil Festival
Photograph by Ian Douglas, NY Times
— Tavia Nyong’o in the catalog for Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (via damaliabrams)