In conjunction with the opening of Now Dig This! at MoMA PS1, Courtesy the Artists (Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade of My Barbarian) will present a program of performances responding to the music of African American activist Elaine Brown, whose 1969 album, Seize the Time, was produced by the Black Panther Party. Courtesy the Artists’ program features artists and musicians Niv Acosta, LaTasha Diggs, Charles Gaines, Simone Leigh, Adam Pendleton, Matana Roberts, Xaviera Simmons, Samita Sinha, Geo Wyeth, and others. The group will perform contemporary responses to this historic collection of songs.
Elaine Brown is an activist who was one of the prominent members of the LA chapter of the Black Panther Party. She held several leadership positions, had intimate relationships with many of the other well-known Panthers, and was part of all of the turmoil of the time. As a cultural initiative, the party made recordings of Brown’s political songs that she herself performed on the piano.
Courtesy the Artists, a new collaboration by Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade that combines curatorial and artistic practices, has taken Brown’s album as a starting point for themselves and their group of specifically selected artists. Through music, video-screenings, and theatrical readings of original and archival texts, the group will deliver a recital of this historic collection of agit-prop, situating the discussion of race, gender and power deep in the now.