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Entries Tagged as 'black art'

Aesthetics of Excess—with Jillian Hernandez

April 14th, 2021 · Comments

Jillian Hernandez gives voice to girls and women of color in her 2020 book Aesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment. In this episode, you’ll hear how she has been delving into the “aesthetic hierarchies” of femme culture for more than a decade. Research, critical writing, and personal experience come together to enrich this vividly illustrated book. Hernandez shares a few stories of her own fraught adolescence, along with those of Women on the Rise!, a community of teenage girls for whom she and local artists created opportunities to collide with art, through the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. 

 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Chonga Girls, “Chongalicious,” Crystal Pearl Molinary, “Off the Chain”

 

Related Episodes: Puerto Rico Rising—Resisting Paradise, The Awakening, Topical Playlist—Art and Feminism

 

Related Links, Jillian Hernandez, University of Florida, Duke University Press, Women on the Rise!, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami

 

Jillian Hernandez, a Miami native, is currently Assistant Professor in the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research at the University of Florida. She is a transdisciplinary scholar interested in the stakes of embodiment, aesthetics, and performance for Black and Latinx women and girls, gender-nonconformists, and queers. In 2020, Hernandez completed her first book, Aesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment, through Duke University Press. She is developing other book-length projects on the radical politics of femme of color art and performance and Latinx creative erotics, ontologies, and relationalities. Hernandez received her Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University and teaches courses on racialized girlhoods, Latinx sexualities, theories of the body, social justice praxis, and cultural studies. Her scholarship is based on and inspired by over a decade of community arts work with Black and Latinx girls in Miami, Florida, through the Women on the Rise! program she established at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, in addition to her practice as an artist and curator. via University of Florida

 

Aesthetics of Excess: Heavy makeup, gaudy jewelry, dramatic hairstyles, and clothes that are considered cheap, fake, too short, too tight, or too masculine: working-class Black and Latina girls and women are often framed as embodying "excessive" styles that are presumed to indicate sexual deviance. In Aesthetics of Excess Jillian Hernandez examines how middle-class discourses of aesthetic value racialize the bodies of women and girls of color. At the same time, their style can be a source of cultural capital when appropriated by the contemporary art scene. Drawing on her community arts work with Black and Latina girls in Miami, Hernandez analyzes the art and self-image of these girls alongside works produced by contemporary artists and pop musicians such as Wangechi Mutu, Kara Walker, and Nicki Minaj. Through these relational readings, Hernandez shows how notions of high and low culture are complicated when women and girls of color engage in cultural production and how they challenge the policing of their bodies and sexualities through artistic authorship. via Duke University Press

Tags: contemporary art · activism · performance art · black culture · black art · museum · community · education · feminist art

Diaspora Art from the Creole City—with Rosie Gordon-Wallace

March 31st, 2021 · Comments

Now, more than ever, culture transcends geographic boundaries. In this episode, we explore the impact of that global phenomenon on the visibility of contemporary diaspora art.

From Jamaica, Rosie Gordon-Wallace is a globally recognized curator, arts advocate, and community leader based in Miami, Florida, since the 1970s. In 1996, Gordon-Wallace launched a transformative enterprise, now known as Diaspora Vibe Culture Arts Incubator.

DVCAI is a creative laboratory—promoting, nurturing, and cultivating the vision and diverse talents of artists from the Caribbean Diaspora, artists of color, and immigrant artists through public programs, residencies, exhibitions and more. In 2021, the organization will be 25 years old. We sit down with Gordon-Wallace to contemplate the significance of this moment. 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Sound from The Philosopher's Stone, with permission of artist Asser Saint-Val

Related Episodes: Diaspora Vibe: Art with Caribbean Roots, Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies, New Caribbean Cinema, Miami's Caribbean Arts Remix

Related Links: Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Inter|Sectionality: Diaspora Art from the Creole City, Donette Francis, Rosa Naday Garmendia, Evelyn Politzer, Chantal James, Asser Saint-Val, Michael Elliott, The Windrush Generation, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture, Miami Design District

A traveling exhibition that celebrates DVCAI’s 25th year, Inter | Sectionality: Diaspora Art from the Creole City is a multidisciplinary curatorial collaboration and exploration of the emergence of the “Creole City” as a local, regional and global phenomenon. Internationally recognized curators Sanjit Sethi, President, Minneapolis College of Art and Design and former director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, and Rosie Gordon-Wallace, founder and curator of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI), designed this collaboration to provide a lens through which communities and community leaders internationally can begin to better understand themselves, their diversity and their unlimited possibilities.

In 2019, Inter | Sectionality: Diaspora Art from the Creole City was presented in our nation’s capital at a time when diaspora artists and voices were challenging social justice, celebrating identities—reactivating and bridging communities through contemporary art and scholarship. The complexities and diversities represented in this exhibition are emergent and, in many cases, ascendant across the world.

In 2020, the exhibition travelled to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2021, Inter | Sectionality came home to the Design District, in Miami, Florida.

Tags: contemporary art · activism · curator · black culture · black art · community · political art · exhibition

The Awakening

January 27th, 2021 · Comments

Today is January 27, 2021. One week ago, we inaugurated new leaders in the United States. Many hope that President Joseph. Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris will cultivate an era of unity, democracy, and truth in this country. 

Multiple flashpoints complicated the year 2020. The relentless coronavirus pandemic, accelerating discrimination against people of color, heightened climate emergencies, and the imploding global economy had a intense polarizing effect on the electorate.

Kamala Harris, the first African-American and Asian American to become Vice President, is also the first woman to be given this tremendous opportunity. As she steps into a crucial role of responsibility, Harris inspires this episode. 

What part can creativity play in such turbulent times? 

We speak to six women artists and curators responding to the challenges of the past year with renewed resolve. Strengthening their engagement with vital issues and ideas, each one positions herself in service to social justice. Future episodes will reveal more about their individual awakenings.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: When We Gather, courtesy Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and collaborators; Whitewash, courtesy artist Nadine Valcin; Celaje, courtesy artist Sofía Gallisá Muriente; All water has a perfect memory, courtesy artist Bahar Behbahani; Drip in water tunnel, New York City, courtesy artist Mary Mattingly; "This Earth,” by Susan Griffin, courtesy Andrea Bowers and performance participants 

Related Episodes: International Curators Champion Creative Resilience, Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies, Where Art Meets Activism, Creative Time Summit Miami 2018, Bahar Behbahani on Politics and Persian Gardens, New Point of View at Venice Art Biennale, Mary Mattingly on the Art of Human Relationships, Andrea Bowers on Art and Activism

Related Links: Bahar Behbahani, Andrea Bowers, This Earth, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, When We Gather, Mary Mattingly, Public Water, Andrea Fatona, The State of Blackness, Marina Reyes Franco, Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, Sofía Gallisá Muriente

Featured Voices in Order of Appearance

 

Born in Cuba and based in Nashville, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons teaches at Vanderbilt University. A dream led her to invite collaborators to celebrate all that Kamala Harris represents. Performance and poetry in the new art film When We Gather embody their collective hope and imagination.

 

Dr. Andrea Fatona is a Toronto-based curator and scholar who teaches in the graduate program at Ontario College of Art and Design University. For decades, she has sought to remedy the absence of Black visual art from critical writing, art archives and other avenues of representation. Whitewash, Nadine Valcin’s performance video about the history of slavery in Canada, is featured on Fatona's website: The State of Blackness.

 

Born and based in San Juan, Marina Reyes Franco is curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art. She talks about the Museum’s powerful new partner and introduces the metaphoric exhibition she will present this spring. In 2020, Reyes Franco took the time to support artist friend Sofía Gallisá Muriente in her creation of a new film. Sited on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico, Celaje is an elegy to the death of the Puerto Rican colonial project and the sedimentation of disasters on the island.

 

Water channels, fountains, roses and pools are elemental to the legendary Persian garden. Iranian-American artist Bahar Behbahani has been investigating the garden’s histories for years. In 2019, she created her first garden-inspired public art project at Wave Hill in the Bronx. In 2021, the artist aims to break ground on a purposeful Persian garden in Manhattan.

 

New York-based artist Mary Mattingly has always been concerned with sustainability, creating lyric environments that meet the basic needs of water, food, and shelter. Her latest project concerns the invisible infrastructure of public water in the city she calls home. Mattingly is diving deep—her urban case study exposes inequities that limit access to clean drinking water everywhere. 

 

Early 2020 found Los Angeles based artist Andrea Bowers joining other women to read and record the poem “This Earth,” by Susan Griffin. Studying the spiritual origins of eco-feminism was among her solitary pursuits last year. When the pandemic slowed her activist projects, Bowers turned to re-examine how and why she makes art. 

Tags: contemporary art · public art · activism · curator · black culture · black art · environment · feminism · museum · community · political art · feminist art

Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith Take a Stand

January 13th, 2021 · Comments

Today’s story unfolds at the intersection of art, sports, and activism.

 

In 1968, Black American athlete Tommie Smith set a new world record. He became a gold medalist when he raced to win the 200-meter event at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

 

Yet Tommie Smith was only inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2019. Why did it take half a century for the international sports organization to recognize his record-breaking performance? 

 

Because in 1968, at the height of the civil rights struggle in America, Tommie Smith took a stand on racism and human rights at the awards ceremony in Mexico City. As he stood on the podium to accept his medal, he bowed his head and raised his fist in a silent salute. That year, the Olympics were broadcast on television live and in color for the first time ever. The whole world witnessed his gesture. 

 

Tommie Smith’s respectful protest marked his life in the years that followed, while motivating generations to stand up for equality. He continues to inspire us, encouraging everyone to take part in the ongoing quest for global human rights and racial justice. 

 

In this episode, you’ll hear from the athlete and two creatives he inspired: Japanese-American artist Glenn Kaino and Iranian-born cinematographer Afshin Shahidi. They came together to create an exhibition, public programs and a documentary film to tell Tommie Smith’s story.

 

When artist Glenn Kaino sought out the legendary Olympic runner as a creative collaborator, he recognized the enduring value of art as a means to preserve a noble act. With Drawn Arms amplifies Smith’s courage, bringing history to reckon with our contemporary moment. 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio

Related Episodes: Black in America, Franklin Sirmans on the Art of Futbol, Athi-Patra Ruga on Global Human Rights

Related Links: Tommie Smith, Glenn Kaino, Afshin Shahidi, Mexico 1968 Summer Olympics, Olympic Project for Human Rights, High Museum of Art, San José Museum of Art, Colin Kaepernick, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Fresh Art International at Untitled Art Fair

Watch the Film: With Drawn Arms

 

Our Current Moment

Since early 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has held our planet in its grip. We have reckoned with isolation and the loss of friends and loved ones, and with the strange new normal of everyday life. The public health crisis has meant the delay or cancellation of cherished cultural and sports events. The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and the Japan 2020 Summer Olympics, where the film With Drawn Arms was to be screened, were among thousands of casualties. 

In 2020, racial equity became a flashpoint on two fronts. The virus has been taking a greater toll on Blacks and people of color. Police violence against Blacks sparked a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement, triggering massive protests across the U.S. and abroad. The quest for racial equity and human rights continues.

Tags: contemporary art · film · sculpture · activism · black culture · black art · political art

Musical Manifesto vs. Contested Monument

July 15th, 2020 · Comments

Today, we’re talking about symbolic statues and monuments. In this moment, many are demanding the removal of memorials believed to perpetuate a legacy of systemic racial and ethnic injustice. Recent acts of violence against Blacks in the United States have brought these memorials to the center of a nationwide debate.

                                                                       

On Memorial Day, in the year 2020, Minneapolis police killed a Black man named George Floyd. The public incident ignited the resurgence of a 21st century civil rights movement known as Black Lives Matter. In 2013, with use of the hashtag BlackLivesMatter, thousands responded on social media to the acquittal of a white man, George Zimmerman. He had been charged with the shooting death of Black teen Trayvon Martin.

 

Black Lives Matter is now the leading force behind massive protests across the U.S. and abroad. Crowds are toppling statues honoring colonizers, slaveholders, and Confederate heroes. The controversial figures have become a cultural flashpoint.

 

Social justice advocates have contested these iconic sculptures for decades. Let’s look back to 2014, for one example, when artist william cordova and his collaborators staged an unannounced public declaration of liberty and justice. They chose to make their statement at the site of a towering statue of confederate leader Robert E. Lee in New Orleans.  

 

Born in Lima, Peru, and based in Miami, New York and Lima, cordova is known as a cultural practitioner. We call him to hear the story behind this prescient intervention. 

 

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: silent parade, 2014 

 

Related episodes: Black in America, Modern Black Portrait of Florida, Amy Sherald on New Racial Narratives, Amy Sherald on New Racial NarrativesSanford Biggers on Time and the Human Condition, Fahamu Pecou on Art x Hip-Hop, Theaster Gates on Meaning, Making and Reconciliation, Jefferson Pinder on Symbols of Power and Struggle

 

Related links: silent parade, The Soul Rebels, william cordova, now's the time:narratives of southern alchemy, Perez Art Museum, Miami, 2018, Prospect New Orleans, Headlands Center for the Arts, Black Lives Matter

Tags: · · · · · · · · · contemporary art · public art · activism · black culture · black art · performance · community · distance learning · political art

The Mind-Bending Mythology of Trenton Doyle Hancock

November 12th, 2019 · Comments

In November 2019, Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock brings his mythological “Moundverse” to Miami. Locust Projects gives over the entire space to his site-specific installation. The artist will immerse us in a world inspired by comic books, toys, horror films and animations.

For decades, Hancock has been telling the story of the Mounds (gentle hybrid plant-like creatures) protected by Torpedo Boy (Hancock’s alter ego), and their enemies, the Vegans (mutants who consume tofu and spill Mound blood every chance they get). In paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, video and installation, the artist explores good and evil, authority, race and class, moral relativism, politics and religion.

This is not our first encounter with Trenton Doyle Hancock. He was among artists that curator Valerie Cassel Oliver selected for Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art. The exhibition premiered in 2013 at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Houston, and traveled across the United States. In Radical Presence, Cassel Oliver surveyed seminal black performance art. She invited artists into the exhibition to re-stage their performances.

We make our way to Houston to watch Hancock embody one of the characters in the narrative he began creating when he was 10 years old. For an evening performance titled “Devotion,” he becomes a singing Mound. He's massive. He's blindfolded. Cassel Oliver feeds him Jell-O. The spectacle is intimate, absurd and deeply spiritual.

The next morning, we wander through the artist’s mind. Our conversation explores the histories, objects and ideas that inform his work. His warehouse is awash in accumulating materials—cast-off toys, books and bottle caps, scraps of felt and fabric, cans of paint. Works in progress and finished collage paintings line the walls. A drum kit sits waiting in one corner. It seems unlikely that this artist will ever lose the desire to experiment and play with the fantastical characters that animate his inner world. 

Sound Editor: 2019 Anamnesis Audio; 2013 Eric Schwartz | Special Audio: Trenton Doyle Hancock

Related Episodes: Valerie Cassel Oliver on Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Tameka Norris on Channeling Personal History, William Pope.L Transforms the Black Factory into a Magic Lantern Show

Related Links: Locust Projects, Trenton Doyle Hancock at MASS MoCA, Radical Presence: Contemporary Black Performance Art

Tags: · · · · · · · contemporary art · black masculinity · black art · exhibition

Art and Film Illuminate The Black Imagination

August 5th, 2019 · Comments

How do contemporary art and film illuminate the Black Imagination? This segment from our archive explores some of the issues and ideas behind creative practices that re-imagine the Black experience.

To begin, we share a conversation recorded with curator Valerie Cassel Oliver from 2013, while she was working at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Cassel Oliver is now Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where she's expanding the representation of African American and African-diasporic artists in the Museum's collection.

On November 2, 2016, artists, filmmakers and curators joined us to consider this topic during the Fresh Art International show on Jolt Radio, Miami. Since then, curator Natalia Zuluaga continues to edit [NAME] publications and co-edits the bilingual online journal Dispatches. In summer 2019, Zuluaga curates Materia Abierta, a program on theory, art and technology in Mexico City. Artist Domingo Castillo has been working under the radar since visualizing the complexities of Miami’s future in his 2017 video Tropical Malaise. In 2019, among other recent projects, artist Jamilah Sabur presented a five channel video installation at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and showed a commissioned video at Hudson Yards, New York. Amir George, co-founder of the touring visual shorts program Black Radical Imagination, continues to engage in cinema culture. Mikhaile Solomon, founding director of the annual PRIZM art fair, is preparing for the Fair’s seventh year in Miami, scheduled for December 2019.

Sound Editor: Guney Ozsan 2016; Anamnesis Audio 2019 | Special Audio: courtesy Jamilah Sabur and Oolite Arts

Related Episodes: Valerie Cassel Oliver on Black Performance in Contemporary Art and Jean-Ulrick Désert and Trenton Doyle Hancock on Radical Presence, Black in America, Contemporary Black Portraiture

Related Links: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, [NAME] Publications, Hammer Museum, Black Radical Imagination, PRIZM Art Fair, Oolite Arts

 

Tags: · Fresh Talk · contemporary art · film · black culture · black art

Charles Gaines on Philosophy and Politics in Conceptual Art

July 29th, 2019 · Comments

American artist Charles Gaines has been delving into philosophy, abstraction and mathematics to address politics and race since the 1970s. In August 2019, Gaines receives the 60th Annual Edward MacDowell Medal, an award celebrating his high achievements in visual art, musical composition and performance, and his influence as a teacher, writer and curator. An artist whose work is described as formulating the DNA of the conceptual movement, Gaines is a key figure in contemporary art history.

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Gaines was the first African American accepted into the School of Art and Design MFA program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He now lives and works in Los Angeles. He’s been a faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts, for more than three decades.

As Charles Gaines prepares for high profile exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco and London, through 2022, we reflect on what his art says to the world. Resolutely abstract in his practice, Charles Gaines refuses traditional representation—resisting both dominant racial stereotypes, and pressure from within the black community. His gridworks and manifestos deliberately counter deep-seated assumptions about the forms that nature and culture, art and music should take. Gaines shows us how art can embody conceptual, aesthetic, and personal freedom.

This episode features conversations recorded with Charles Gaines in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

About the MacDowell Medal: A Haven for Artists since 1907, the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, was the first artist residency program established in the United States. Each year, the MacDowell Medal recognizes one individual for outstanding contributions to American arts and culture. Merce Cunningham, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Sonny Rollins, and Toni Morrison are among past honorees.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Charles Gaines, Manifestos performance, 56th Venice Art Biennale

Related Episodes: Mark Bradford Connects Art with the Real WorldContemporary Art and the Black Imagination

Related Links: Charles Gaines | MacDowell Honors Visual Artist‎Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida CollectionCharles Gaines, Institute of Contemporary Art, MiamiCharles Gaines, The Studio Museum in HarlemBiennale Arte 2015, All the World's Futures

Tags: · Fresh Talk · black art · political art

Curating and Creative Resilience with IKT in Miami

June 17th, 2019 · Comments

What does "creative resilience" mean for curators in the year 2019? 

One evening, we decide to find out. Setting up a temporary recording studio in a poolside cabana, at a Miami Beach hotel, we sit down with a dozen curators and cultural producers to document their stories. In this marathon recording session, you’ll hear curatorial strategies for engaging new communities, increasing the visibility of underrepresented artists, and addressing some of today's most pressing social, political and environmental challenges.

We recorded this special program when the annual Congress of the Association of International Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT) took place in the United States for the first time. Curators from the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean gathered in Miami, Florida, to explore the contemporary art scene and participate in a symposium about art and resilience in the climate crisis.

Voices in the episode: (alpha order) Eva Asp, Bayardo Blandino, Aldeide Delgado, Yucef Merhi, Thale Fastvold and Tanja Torjussen, Michele Fiedler, O'Neil Lawrence, Lorie Mertes, Najja Moon, Marina Reyes Franco, Sofía Shaula Reeser-del Rio

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: (in order of appearance) Spectres in Change: FoAM / Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney; The Quilt Performing Arts Group for Beyond Fashion exhibition, National Gallery of Jamaica; Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas (Hacked!) 2000-2004; The BLCK Family Dinner

Related Episodes: Art and the Climate Crisis with IKT MiamiArt and the Rising SeaCurating in a Time of Global Change: IKT NorwaySounds of Contemporary Art in Norway with IKT

 

Related Links: International Association of Curators of Contemporary ArtFoAM Spectres in ChangeSala de Arte Público SiqueirosContemporary Art Museum of Caracas (Hacked!) 2000-2004National Gallery of JamaicaResisting ParadiseLocust ProjectsThe BLCK FamilyGävle KonstcentrumInternational Cities of Refuge NetworkSALA MAC / Contemporary Visual Arts Center of Women in the Arts in HondurasWomen Photographers International ArchiveLocus Art

Tags: · · · contemporary art · photography · activism · curator · black art · environment

Art Historian Playlist: Deborah Barkun Listens to Joana Choumali

May 13th, 2019 · Comments

Today’s conversation continues our Playlist series. We’re inviting artists, curators, architects, writers, filmmakers, cultural producers and other listeners to introduce episodes from our archive.

Based in the United States, art historian and curator Deborah Barkun is Chair of the Department of Art and Art History and Director of Museum Studies at Ursinus College, outside Philadelphia. Her research centers on the social dynamics of artistic collaboration. Barkun is contributing to our stories from the 58th Venice Art Biennale. Here, she introduces our conversation with Ivorian artist Joana Choumali, first released on April 30, 2018.

Deborah Barkun writes: I am excited to introduce this reprise of “Joana Choumali Embroiders Empathy.” I feel especially connected to this episode, as I was present for Cathy’s first interview with Choumali in the Ivory Coast Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Choumali spoke poignantly about African emigration and the emptiness it leaves in the hearts of loved ones left behind. Her hand-embroidered and collaged photographic diptychs depict this global migration. Loose threads left dangling from the works speak to a sense of ongoing longing.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Photography: Deborah Barkun

Related Episodes: Joana Choumali Embroiders EmpathySounds of the 57th Venice Art BiennaleSamson Young: Songs for Disaster ReliefLisa Reihana on Reversing the Colonial GazeMonument to Decay: Israeli Pavilion in VeniceMark Bradford Connects Art with the Real World

Related Links: Joana ChoumaliIvory Coast PavilionVenice Art BiennaleDak’Art 2018

Tags: · · · · · · · · · · · contemporary art · art biennial · black culture · black art · political art · art fair · exhibition

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