Last few weeks to see A Thousand Plateaus @jenkinsjohnsongallery ! Please join us tomorrow August 15 from 5-8pm for a celebration with these incredible artists @chris.berntsen @camillehoffmanstudio @kambuiolujimi and @______patrice . Summer hours are M-F, 11-6pm. Catch it before it closes August 23! Many thanks to @kjenkinsjohnson @tesssol @_d_takahashi and the amazing team at @jenkinsjohnsongallery 🌟
@forfreedoms #fourfreedoms images are becoming more timely more and necessary as we reframe what it means to be #American. Grateful to all the people who participated in these images and all the people who are willing so share them with the public across the country. #forfreedoms 📷 @wyattgallery @emilyshur @ericgottesman @totallywithit @j.jutt ⚡️ @lionelbrock @agger_marc
Super excited to experience this Independence Day with the newest American in our family! Welcome @rjkhckly ! Let’s put this puzzle together! 🇿🇼🎆🇬🇧🎇🇺🇸
I loved Tarzan growing up. I still do. You ever notice that the evil Africans in the early movies were played by Europeans? Was that because they couldn’t pay black people enough to play those roles or was Hollywood aware that their fantasy had nothing to do with Africans at all? As a media-obsessed person, I am constantly trying to scratch the surface of images that shape my perception of reality. Returning to the use of Anyoto (Leopard) Society imagery, this retroreflective borrows from the 1946 film ‘Tarzan and the Leopard Woman,’ illustrating how the European imagination created an image of the Anyoto Society that deviated greatly from its original intent as a source of power and unity for its members and the Congolese people as a whole. The popularization of the Anyoto Society created an exchange of visual culture between the identity they created for themselves and the one that was created in the film, highlighting just how effectively they spread these sensationalized ideas to the larger public. Even today these assumptions linger, as it's hard to step away from the culturally embedded imagery and ideas that we have been exposed to. As an American of African and European descent, I am constantly wrestling with these mythologies in my head. We have to ask ourselves, how much of what we know about Africa is a figment of American and European imaginations? How do these mythologies shape our policies and actions today? And most importantly, how have these popular fantasies shaped the way contemporary Africans see themselves and one another? 🐆🐆 #tarzan #Acquanetta #kingofthejungle #tarzanandtheleopardwoman #rkopictures @maruanimercier
Excited to be included with @sanfordbiggers @bozarbrussels IncarNations is an exhibition created by the South African artist @kendell_geers in dialogue with the Congolese collector Sindika Dokolo. A fascinating initiative that reflects the diversity of the African artistic heritage, from an Afrocentric point of view and including the itineraries of slaves, colonialism and independence movements. As the Senegalese philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne stresses: "Ethnographic museums are a negation of art because they prevent the objects on display from really looking at us. Because ethnography is constituted, at its colonial origins, as a science of what is radically other, it is in its nature to fabricate strangeness, otherness, separateness". Taken from Sindika Dokolo's impressive collection, the works of African artists enter into dialogue with those of the diaspora while contemporary works will be displayed alongside classical works. Incarnations looks at African art as a living philosophical practice. Works by #NickCave, #WilliamKentridge, #TraceyRose, @wangechistudio , #OtobongNkanga, @shonibarestudio , #PascaleMarthineTayou, #AnaMendieta, @kehindewiley @lyleashtonharris , #AndresSerrano, @aidamuluneh , Mwangi Hutter , Adrian Piper, Lubaina Himid, Roger Ballen, @muholizanele , @phyllisgalembo and many others. 📷 @sergemaruani
Resistance Bronze 2019 Did you know there were African Ninjas? I am astonished by how little I know and how easily myths get ingrained in our psyche through the power of storytelling. They say history is told by the victors but they don’t talk about what is lost in their one (or two-sided) stories. The Anyoto (Leopard) Society was an anti-colonial secret society active in Africa between 1890 and 1935. While their mission was political emancipation and empowerment to overcome colonial rule, their story was distorted when it became disseminated into European pop culture depicting them as violent, evil, and sexually promiscuous. These freedom fighters were (and continue to be) shown as savage villains in the Tarzan stories, Tintin comic, Disney movies and more. One doesn’t have look to closely to see the that the Congo is Wakanda (after Infinity War) and Black Panther and Wolverine we’re influenced by the Leopard Men’s claws. Their legacy however, has been erased. The depiction of Africans fighting for there lives and culture against the empire mirrors that of indigenous populations all over the world. I cannot help but think of all the “cowboys and Indians” games I played as a child gleefully fantasizing about killing savages. My favorite team was the Redskins, I have an affection for the old Cleveland Indians logo. Things are complicated. We all partake in systems of violence that we don’t overtly condone. I know now that I’m part of the Empire just by the fact that I have embraced social media which allows them to track and shape my thoughts. My artwork is a tiny, maybe futile gesture of coming to terms with the culture I love so dearly but sometimes makes me sick. By isolating the raised claw we draw attention away from these western representations and return to its intended symbolism of power, unity, and resistance. . #leopardmen #anyoto #tarzan #blackpanther #tarzan #wolverine 🐆#resistanceisfutile
Antwerpse Handjes chocolates originate from the myth of Brabo, who slew the giant Antigoon, cut off his hand and threw it in a river, allowing the city of Antwerp to be founded. But it's hard not to question the correlation between these chocolates and the history of Belgian officers collecting the severed hands of Congolese workers who failed to meet their rubber quotas during King Leopold II’s rule. In this work, the hands are arranged in a pattern similar to hand-woven Kuba textiles, which originated in the Congo and are known for their intricate details. Where does the fascination with chocolate hands come from. Is our joyous consumption of these chocolates a metaphor something deeper and more nefarious? Is there any value to making these connections and asking these questions? Does it matter? There are always more questions than answers. #belgian #chocolates #congo #hands 🇧🇪🍫🇨🇩✋🏾 @maruanimercier #kubatextiles
Antwerp, 2019 All of my work is informed by curiosity and research. I am constantly connecting dots and asking questions. What I learned about Antwerp and this statue still unsettles me and has me asking questions. I invite your questions in this exploration. The Brabo Fountain in Antwerp, Belgium gets its origin from the story of the Roman hero Brabo slaying the giant Druon Antigoon, severing his hand and throwing it into the river. This fountain is located near one of Antwerp's busiest ports and was erected in 1887, just two years after Belgian King Leopold II established their colonial rule in the Congo Free State. This port would receive the valuables being harvested in the Congo such as rubber, ivory, diamonds. The proximity of the Brabo fountain, depicting the severed hand that would become the symbol of Antwerp, and the port receiving goods from the Congo may be coincidental; but it’s hard to forget the policy established by Belgian agents charged with enforcing rubber quotas of collecting the amputated hands of those who failed to meet them. #redrubber became the first major movement addressing human rights. Thanks to the work of artists and activists like #aliceseeleyharris #georgewashingtonwilliams #marktwain #edmorrell who exposed these atrocities, there was an international outcry that helped to change the tide. Although the king eventually relinquished absolute control in 1908, it remained a Belgian colony for another half century where human zoos and other forms of human and material exploitation persisted and continues in various ways today. Thanks to our greed for fast information and smart phones, you can still find children as young as 4 years-old working in mines sourcing copper, cobalt and coltan. The struggle continues and we are the as much of the problem as anyone. Future generations will judge us harshly. Wow, how did I get here!?? I am at a loss. Where do we go from here? @maruanimercier
C'est moi qui te regarde (Post-Colonial Officer) Lenticular and digital print 2019 C'est toi qui me regarde (Colonial Officer) Lenticular and digital print 2019 History is surreal. Looking back and trying to understand the decisions of previous generations and how they shape our lives stretches the imagination beyond comprehension. I look at the past to understand the present, knowing that I will never quite grasp either. Paying homage to Belgian Surrealist René Magritte’s “The Son of Man”, each of these pieces uses text and a lenticular lenses to communicate with and alter the viewer's perspective. These phrases directly engage the viewer to consider multiple perspectives of history at once, as well as how our own view is subjective and incomplete. The lenticular surface allows a viewer to activate the work, as the image and text change from different angles. This furthers the idea that it is essential to consider all perspectives in order to see anything in a meaningful way. #postcolonial #colonialism #congo #zaire #magritte @maruanimercier
Opening this Saturday @jenkinsjohnsongallery in Brooklyn! ‘A Thousand Plateaus’ featuring new works by @chris.berntsen @camillehoffmanstudio @kambuiolujimi and @______patrice . I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to curate a show of these amazing artists. Opening 5-8pm with a special performance by @chris.berntsen at 6pm ✨ Special thanks to my collaborator @_d_takahashi and the @kjenkinsjohnson 🙏🏾!
Thank you @hirshhorn for the opportunity to bring #insearchofthetruth #truthbooth to DC! I am so grateful to @therealjimricks @sanchez.cci @wilsyl @helenboo0 @samigiarra @ryanalexiev and so many of our collaborators who helped us speak our truths 💬 @yamafilms @oscarelloreyestorres @paufxcn n @anaiddlr @luisirig @lotafkhan
Justice, Peace, Work Stainless steel, mirror finish 2019 On June 29, 1960, the day before Congo gained independence from Belgium, Abroise Boimbo, a Congolese citizen snatched the ceremonial sword of Belgian King Baudouin I. This work is the 3-D representation of what #rolandbarthes would call the #punctum of #RobertLebeck ’s iconic photograph of Boimbo as he ran away, sword in hand. While some may see Boimbo’s action only as spirited behavior, it also symbolizes a literal hand-off -- an exchange of power, and a small victory in an ongoing quest for justice, independence, and freedom. It reminds us that triumphs over oppression are realized by those strong enough to call on and mobilize for change, and that the moment of freedom is not only a systemic step forward but a moment of validation and hope. @maruanimercier #punctumseries #belgium #congo #belgiancongo #independence #robertlebeck #rolandbarthes #abroiseboimbo
Last call! @forfreedoms: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? closes on June 16th @icp ! It has been a privilege and an honor to work alongside so many amazing fellow thinkers, collaborators, artists, and dreamers that helped make this exhibition possible by participating in our #forfreedoms forfreedoms #50StateInitiative last fall. Thank you to @lacyaustin @_avahess_ @jlmoynihan @evanblaisewalsh @emmakalea3 @po_laroid @the_whitest_latino @tokenpoc @ericgottesman @michelinwoo @lionelbrock @markjskidmore @j.jutt @emilyshur @solguy @wyattgallery @elizabeth.baribeau @fort @paulacrown_art @emilyoberman @miriambkny @rjkhckly @bks910 @fortgansevoort @ellensusman @skhoffman46 @kamalsinclair @opnbx and all y’all!
“Colonialism and Abstract Art”, 2019 Orson Welles wrote, “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." It is likely that European Modernism is primarily an extension of African thought. Art history, like all history, is subjective. It services the storyteller. In fact, no history is singular or complete. The effects of political, cultural, and technological developments spread and influence the lives of other nations. Based on @themuseumofmodernart first director #alfredjbarr 1936 timeline “Cubism and Abstract Art” this timeline draws connections between Belgian, Congolese, and Western Art history from 1870 to 1970, book-ending the century with European exploration of the Congo through post-colonial independence era. In that century-long period, colonialism, geo- politics, capitalism, technological, popular culture, and artistic expression and appropriation expanded to cross both disciplines and continents. My hope is that weaving these histories together will help us to consider the ramifications of colonialism and the origins of present day challenges by illuminating the cause and effect of past events, cultural exchanges, and power dynamics. @maruanimercier ”Donnez Votre Main” thru 6/29
So excited that my exhibition “Donnez votre main” @maruanimercier in Brussels has been extended to June 29. Thanks you @laurentmercier1 @sergemaruani for encouraging me to do this show which has taught me so much about history, mythology, denial, perseverance and how far we have to go before we can come to terms with ourselves and each other. Thank you @rjkhckly @helenboo0 @wilsyl @cobykennedy @_d_takahashi @adameast @printshoporg @erikhougen @ntylersculpt @chris.berntsen @portra_nc @andiemclarkson @jeremyruiz for all your collaboration and hard work making it happen!
History of the Conquest. 2017 Thank you to all the people who have sent images of this work!My largest public sculpture to to date. What do you all take away from this? What is it about? 📷 @harry.nola57
@whentheyseeus is a call to act as much as it is to reflect. Thank you Raymond Santana @santanaraymond , @kevrichardson77 , Antron McCray, @dr.yusefsalaam , @koreykingwise , @ava for for your grace, humility, fortitude, humanity and all of your incredible work for decades. When these horrible crimes happened, I was the same age of these boys, 10 blocks away listening to to #publicenemy Don’t believe the hype on the radio. Nothing about the case made any sense to the children involved or in my neighborhood. Nothing at all. It haunts me to this day. Why couldn’t educated adults see it? It is because of this that I will never fully trust headline and media stories. No one ever said it better than #chuckd “I don't rhyme for the sake of of riddlin' Some claim that I'm a smuggler Some say I never heard of 'ya A rap burglar, false media We don't need it do we? It's fake that's what it be to 'ya, dig me? Don't believe the hype” #✊🏿✊🏿✊🏿 #centralparkfive #whentheyseeus #dontbelievethehype 📷 @micaiahcarter
Thinking about Ancestors...
So excited to see Liberty (2015) at @jackshainman in Kinderhook this weekend. I often say my job is to make my dreams come true. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that things that seem unlikely, even impossible, at the beginning will become real. So grateful to @juwanhowardofficial for lending his legendary hand to make this work. It was inspired by a photograph of the @harlemglobetrotters, who did more to make #blacklivesmatter around the world than they ever get credit for. If you think sports is only entertainment, you aren’t paying attention. It is the world stage upon which many individuals from systematically oppressed communities slowly turn the wheels of power in the direction of the people. We need our athletes to recognize their power and influence beyond the bounds of the games they have learned to play. #nba #players #game 🖤🗽⛹🏾♂️🏀✊🏿 #juwanhoward #fab5
One day it will all make sense.
The past 2 years have been full of surprises. My wife @rjkhckly always handles them with grace and fortitude. Even being next to you as often as I am, I can’t imagine the amount of work that you and the indomitable @janepanetta did to bring together #whitneybiennial2019 . You traveled the country and did hundreds of studio visits, made incredibly hard decisions everyday, embraced every challenge and even ushered a new life into this world and never missed a beat or stopped smiling for a second. You amaze me and I’m so very proud of you. I am looking forward to finally experiencing your opus . It will no doubt be magnificent.
“History of the Conquest” 2017. I’m so excited and honored to have my largest permanent public sculpture to date installed @neworleansmuseumofart ! It is based off a surreal exquisite antiquity in the @thewadsworth collection. So much to say about this fantastical work that comments on the African Conquering of Europe and the European response which included exotification, subjugation and eventually colonization. The Wadsworth allowed us to 3D scan this 17th century object attributed to #jeremiasritter made for a “cabinet of curiosities” aka #wunderkammer (basically a TV for enlightenment era). Thank you @toschoon @prospect_nola @jackshainman @tanyfoundry @wilsyl @whitejumpsuit @cubo521 #blackamoor #nautilusshell ✊🏿🐚🐌 📷 @jonnodotcom
One Million Second Chances (capital blue). 2019
DONNEZ VOTRE MAIN opens tomorrow, April 23rd 5pm at @maruanimercier in Brussels. ✋🏾✋🏾✋🏾✋🏾✋🏾✋🏾✋🏾✋🏾✋🏾✋🏾 This show is all about the development of post-colonialism, its relationship to identity, power, and popular culture in the western imagination. I learned so much along the way and am so grateful to have this opportunity to show new work that engages with the history of Belgium and beyond. See you there!!
My largest sculpture to date us up in NYC! All Power to All People is up @theafricacenter with @kindred_arts . I love the pride and joy this work brings to so many different people. But especially kids. Power to the children. Special thanks ! @cobykennedy @adameast @jeffschomberg thanks for the design & fabrication of this work! @jay_jonah_jacko @sarilynnda @wilsyl @samigiarra @helenboo0 @disco__ @_d_takahashi @uiweala @smedennis @rbhu_engineering for making it happen @burningman @nyc_dotart @monument_lab !
@kehindewiley has done so much for me, other artists, collectors, museums, rappers, teachers, children, curators, chefs, presidents, countries. His influence on 21st century culture cannot be measured, but I am so grateful to him. I’m also so proud of the monumental accomplishment of the @blackrocksenegal !! Congrats!! 📷 @stefanruizphoto #kehindewiley
“He’s Always Tickling Me!”
Tip Off, 2014 🏀
Extremely excited for @rashidjohnson 🎬 #nativesonhbo premier today! It was such an honor to be on set and see the pros at work. @ashtondsanders is an original. @suzanloriparks365 ✍🏽💥 @bephie 👨🏿🎤🔥. @libatique 🎥 🌪. So much talent compiled by @ernst_alex @bowandarrow.la @kikilayne @therealnickrobinson @margaretqualley @sanaalathan @davidalangrier @davidkordanskygallery ! Film had me shook and realizing how my much of # nativeson #richardwright is still so potent! @hbo #biggerthomas - no relation.
Keep The Faith Baby, 2017 #adamclaytonpowell
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision.” I’m so proud of my brother @rashidjohnson for sharing his vision with us. You are a great leader, wonderful friend and amazing artist. Now you a legendary filmmaker?! You did it again! #nativesonhbo APRIL 6 @hbo ! Congrats @ernst_alex @shereehovsepian @bowandarrow.la ! Thank you for having me on set! SO stoked to have taken my first movie poster picture! 💪🏿👨🏿🎤👨🏾🎨🎬🤹🏾♀️
Please join my longtime friend, integral @forfreedoms team member, and award-winning published photographer @wyattgallery this Friday for his workshop at @icp . I am so excited he is coming in from Trinidad to lead this program on storytelling, photography, and building community through art. 💫🙌🏾 . Repost from @forfreedoms . Next Friday, March 29th from 3-5pm at the @ICP Museum, Gallery will host a workshop to explore how to have an impact in your community with photography. All levels are welcome, but participants must be over 15 years old to attend. Please be prepared to bring in prints or digital images to show in this critique and conversational-style workshop. . Limited to 12 participants. If interested in participating, please email email@example.com. . Images are from Gallery’s (@wyattgallery) REMNANTS: AFTER THE STORM series. After the tsunami hit SE Asia in 2004, Wyatt felt a calling to use his photography to support communities devastated by Natural Disasters. He went on to photograph after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the earthquake in Haiti, and hurricane Sandy in NYC, each time using exhibitions, print sales, and published books to raise money to support people within those communities. See more on his site – www.wyattgallery.com #wyattgallery
Okwui Enwezor was a true titan. I’m rarely a groupie, but I went around the world to see his groundbreaking exhibitions in Venice, Kassel, Joburg, Munich, San Francisco and more. I once asked how he was able to walk into so many spaces being the only one and accomplish so much radical change with such poise. He replied simply, “It’s because Nigerians are Fearless.” I was like 🤷🏾♂️ ok! That’s True! RIP #okwuienwezor #nigeriansarefearless 🇳🇬 👏🏾🤵🏿👑 We are supposed to be here.
@rjkhckly "When I was two, my family moved from Zimbabwe to Washington, D.C. It was incredibly influential for me to grow up with access to the Smithsonian, a free museum system. Every weekend we'd go somewhere, whether it was a museum, the zoo or any other place that was part of the Smithsonian family. That said, I had never really heard of art history as a discipline. When I was in college at Columbia University, I took an American art class in which the professor incorporated elements of social justice. We talked about manifest destiny, slavery, genocide of native populations—and we talked about all of this in relation to American art in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. That was a really profound moment for me, because I've always been interested in issues of race, gender and equity. It was a lightbulb moment that I could do both." @forfreedoms 🇿🇼+🇬🇧+🇺🇸 #fourfreedoms @emilyshur @wyattgallery @ericgottesman #rujekohockley #zimbabwe #immigration #freedomapplies @hirshhorn #smithsonianmuseum #arthistory #artmatters #normanrockwell
Voices are Power @favianna1 “What can you do to work towards equity and end systematic violence against women? Celebrate women’s achievements today, at home, at work, in school and in your community! Celebrate and uplift All women, cis and trans, and take some real steps to work towards full equality.” @forfreedoms #50stateinitiative #faviannarodriguez #forfreedoms #fourfreedoms #artbywomen #womenshistorymonth #equity