The exhibition is up and the artist talk was well received. Currently producing a remastered version of the artist talk, since the broadcast had ended abruptly. Everyone involved in the broadcast will receive a high definition copy of the talk. Thank you to everyone who participated, and if you have not been to the exhibition, come visit before the end of the 17th.
From the first time the idea of this exhibition came into thought to this weekend, I have been contemplating about the statement I wanted to make with this exhibition. Funny enough, even to this point it is difficult to really convey what the exhibition is about. It’s a multifaceted exhibition centered around the main theme of identity and how to navigate through it.
The idea of the exhibition came to thought while I was brainstorming a series of exhibitions to do produce for the following years to come to build on my career as a curator. Despite that I chose the wrong educational path for a curator, I still remember the advice one of my mentors gave me when I was interning at the Greenhill NC. Edie Carpenter had told me “If you want to start your career path as a curator, you’re going to have to put on shows.” As I was writing ideas down, I thought about my current position in life, the artists I have met and the inspiration I received from them. I thought of my difficulty finding a full-time position in the arts administration field and this growing anxiety of having to prove myself again while feeling like my proof should have been apparent. I thought of all the artists while writing ideas down and felt there was some familiar detail about them.
_______hood Took a year to plan, prepare, and produce. During the months as I was securing the location, preparing the marketing material, and talking to be artists about their work, I could not help but feel like I was getting closer to that familiar detail about them. It wasn’t until after I started installing the work in the gallery that it came to realization. Despite the amazing achievements these artists have made already, they are still considered “emerging “artists.
I’m surprised they are not in the same position as Jordan Castille Who is currently being exhibited throughout the East Coast and further during in shortly after her time in graduate school at Yale. The content of the work is drastically different, in my opinion, but their content’s qualities are close to the finest. In my mind, each of them are still trying to prove themselves repeatedly to “climb up the ladder” and closer to theor dream. It’s is this reason, I believe, as to why I started the brand in the first place. I wanted this brand to help artists by providing them a platform and resources from the administrative aspect to help them excell to their dreams which often is making our pursuing the ideas that inspire them.
Earlier, it made sense to use emerging artists with already profound ideas and have made a remarkable impact with their work already get into the community so they serve to further elevate the awareness of what they’re doing inspire others to support them. It just so happens that the themes in the content that inspires their creativity relates back to identity in some aspects. I wanted this exhibition to be an experience for people to reflect on the concept of rite of passage, and what it means to be the identities that we hold. This concept matter to me, and I think it matters to many others, because this is an open dialogue leading to answering the following question
Is my destiny truly in my own hands and at my own disposal, or is my fate already predetermined and I’m giving the illusion of choice?
If my destiny is based off my character and identity, and if I am capable of changing my identity, at what point does my density change and what defines that changing experience?
Is it my actions soly, or is it something more?
Each of these artists handle identity differently. Some explore, others question, others challenge and redifine the factors and circumstances that we allow to define us. In regards to my brand’s mission and vision, it is one of my objectives to inspire a community to take action inspired by art and the conversations they spark. My question is, how can we move forward as a community to better outcomes?
All of these things orbit my thoughts as I slwrite this official curator statement.
Once more I have the pleasure to have a colleague and friend, Joshua Rashaad McFadden, to join me on this exhibition. As mentioned before, Joshua Rashaad McFadden is in Atlanta best artist whose work focused on civil rights and social justice. Specifically, McFadden focused his work on the theme of black identity in American culture. This overall concept is embodied in his past three bodies of work. One focusing on colourism, another on Selma, and his recent body of work which relates to the masculine identity of black males and their “father figure” influences.
Recently, McFadden has been exhibited in exhibitions in New Jersey and has several more being shown in Munich, Germany. His recent body of work, come to self hood, had one the international Photography award in late 2016. It won first place in the people and family category. McFadden was also written in time magazine and was recognized by them as one of the 12 African-American photographers you should know. McFadden has pursued to establish his career in the past five years through these bodies of work and per Syse to further a Stabley Schomann himself in the final hearts world.
Through his past merits, McFadden was also awarded several awards both national and international and was recognized by LensCulture as the “top 50 emerging talent in the world” in 2015.
His current series, come to self-worth, is an exploration and reflection upon the identities of black man in the process in which they go through to achieve their identities. Hey series of portraits of the individual black male subjects are complemented with images of either their fathers or father figures who have been an inspiration and a major influence to them achieving their identities. In each comparison, there is a written essay from the subject describing the father figure in some capacity. Each one is not only different in nature but also addresses a different question from a series of questions the subject had taken in a survey before being photographed.
The image and portrail of black men in media has improved from its initial presentation earlier in the 20th century, however, the overall image of the black male has been short of respectful in some arguments. McFadden six to bring attention to not only the positive imagery of black men through their fathers but also read the racks are attention to what defines a man and what is “the ideal black man “.
“I am captured climbing up walls, crawling into window panels, hanging from doors, whereas my family members sit at the kitchen table, watch television, and maintain there daily lives”
Shoccara Marcus is an Atlanta-based photographer both, commercially and for the fine arts. She is also a dancer and choreographer who incorporates dance with her photography. She has produced several bodies of works, each with differing themes, but one particular body I became interested in was the series, “Choreography of my past”. In this series, Marcus returns to her home for a short time after being independent for about a decade. While returning home, she is confronted with several challenges, including the challenge of dealing with the perspective of her childhood self, which still existed in the eyes of her family, as opposed to the adult that she is.
In many conversations about culture and representation, I think back to a documentary that articulated my thoughts on the issue. The old saying, “Presentation is everything” still applies strongly when considering the causes of social and political issues. This film demonstrates the false identity that portrayed African Americans in a particular way, despite what statistical data shows; and I believe we are seeing the last remnants of “the old image” legacy in Non-Black Americans. The work McFadden does, aims to counteract those remnants by reestablishing the individual’s (Who happens to be black) identity and tell the individual’s stories, which will, in turn, represent the multi-facets of the Black American Identity. If you are attending the artist talk August 11th, consider this when having the conversation.