kenturah

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As part of her first public mural, incredibly talented artist, Kenturah Davis made a drawing of my portrait at Alliance Française in Accra.  In her words,

"The drawing is of four different women, living in Accra. The text used to render the image is an Audre Lorde quote, “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.”

I am facing so many obstacles with getting the Rex Cinema off the ground in Ghana.  Reviving the Rex is part of a larger vision to stimulate a creative culture that appreciates Ghanaian perspectives and fosters cultural exchange.

Interview: http://africasacountry.com/reimagining-ghanas-cinemaspace/

Kenturah’s drawing at one of Ghana’s leading cultural institutions gives me so much hope.  Despite the challenges, I believe the Rex as Ghana’s own cinema space will soon come into fruition

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Kenturah Davis stamped drawings, on top “mother mother" 2008, below is "Self Portrait" 2010.  If your in the LA area and you have never seen Kenturah’s well crafted flawlessly executed drawings do yourself a favor and visit the gallery while both of these are on view now! Bonus prize for all the art lovers is that you can see her work in 2 places this month, visit us than visit Occidental College where she is in there alumni exhibition and she has a spectacular wall drawing up commissioned by the college.

papillionart.org/current-exhibitions

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Regarding space, time and performative acts:

The Sonder exhibition represents the synthesis of my pursuits to work more sculpturally and engage time and space in the work. I have embraced the idea of making these text portraits as performative acts. The process of writing a text in repetition over time is a metaphor for the ways that we accumulate information. A pivotal moment that prompted a deeper examination of this idea was during the process of creating my first large-scale drawing installation in 2011. After rendering the portrait with a hand-written text, I destroyed the drawing at the close of the exhibition in front of an audience. This experienced directed me toward making another large scale work that physically engaged an audience in the making/completion of a drawing.

Sonder became a work that not only engaged the audience, but transitioned people into being participants that become a part of the work. The large installation is composed of three layers of translucent textiles, suspended from the ceiling, several feet apart from one another. The transparency of the material allows the viewer to see through parts of the first panel, into the second, while the distance between them allows the viewer to traverse inside the installation. The images are in a constant state of flux as people move about the space and in between the panels. It is also designed to iterate the very definition of the word sonder and its emphasis on noticing strangers.

If you’re in LA visit @kenturah exhibition of handwritten drawings @papillionart in Leimert Park. So honored to be up on those walls as a subject of her amazing work. My hairs look fierce darling! @kenturah :) REPOST: “Install nearly done 💃💃💃 it takes a village to raise a gallery #wedone #finally #art #leimertpark #kenturah #leimertparkrenaissance

The #SONDER project continues in Paris…Kenturah is documenting these sonder moments and exchanges photographs with the subjects. The SONDER project started in Los Angeles and has branched out globally. Last spring she toured Vietnam archiving SONDER moments and now doing the same in France. #art #paris #losangeles #kenturah #publicart #france (at Porte de Clignancourt)

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Regarding the QR code:

After deciding to draw the second panel with binary code, I knew that a third panel should be an extension of the first two panels that pushed the content of the work into another form to convey information. After converting the original text of the first panel to binary code on the second panel, it made sense to complete the piece by making a final conversion for a third panel. I chose to use a Quick Response code, a matrix barcode, because it technologically relies on the binary system to pass information through cyberspace. QR codes can be scanned by a mobile devices to link someone to a website. So, I set up this website whose purpose would be to show documentation about the creation of the Sonder exhibit. I then generated a QR code for the URL of the website and ordered a rubber stamp customized with the code. As a result I was able to draw the last panel with a stamp that engages technology in a self-reflexive look at the content of the work, by linking the viewer to this microsite with ongoing documentation about the project (momentsofsonder.tumblr.com).

vimeo

sonder - a time lapse video

vimeo

Four Women (2014) from Kenturah Davis on Vimeo.

"Four Women" (2014)
graphite drawing (writing)
6’5” x 36 ft.

Commissioned by Alliance Francaise d’Accra, 2014.
Drawn by writing this Audre Lorde quote in repetition:
“I AM DELIBERATE AND AFRAID OF NOTHING.”
Created over the course of nearly two months.

Background:
I arrived in Ghana November, 2013. I found myself listening to a lot of Nina Simone, so when the opportunity came to propose a mural for International Women’s Day, I immediately thought of Simone’s “Four Women.” The emotion of this song intensified my experiences as I traveled throughout the country, visiting the slave castles in and grappling with the history of the African diaspora. The theme Alliance Francaise selected for the mural, “Women of the World”, encouraged me to consider subjects of today. Using Simone’s song as a point of departure, I identified four African women who live in Accra and were doing interesting work that contributes to the community. It was important that they not be “famous”; rather, i tried to find a balance between anonymity and admirability.Ultimately, I wanted to create a work of art that portrayed accomplished women with very different personal stories and are tied to the strength and resiliency that Nina Simone conveys in her lyrical narratives. They are symbols of the many more amazing women I’ve encountered in Ghana.

Integral to the process of making the drawing, I had to also identify a text that I would use to render the four women. I finally selected one suggested by a friend; a quote by feminist, Audre Lorde: “I AM DELIBERATE AND AFRAID OF NOTHING.” This simple, yet potent phrase served the dual purpose of declaring their sense of purpose and functioning as a meditation by which i could absorb its meaning for my own benefit. The process of writing a text in repetition to compose the portrait was a metaphor for the way that we acquire and inhabit language. It extended the work into the realm of a performative act, in which the process of making it is as important as the finished piece.Understanding that the advent of the written word arrived as the capacity of human memory deteriorated situates the portraits as a kind of documentation that might extend the reach of collective memory and historical consciousness.

Acknowledgements:

Alliance Francaise d’Accra
Osei-Duro
Shawanna Davis
Bright Kpoha
Keni and Mildred Davis
Papillion Gallery

Four Women:
Lila Macqueen Djaba
Akosua Adoma Owusu
Nana Oforiatta Ayim
Martina Odonkor

kenturah.com/
Represented by Papillion Gallery, Los Angeles.

Congratulations to #Kenturah for being listed as one of 8 emerging artists to watch in the latest issue of Fabrik Magazine 🎉👏👏 the photo listed is a shot of her solo show and site specific installation we did last year at our downtown space. She will be our first exhibition of the fall, a solo show opening August 30!! #art #dtla #LeimertParkRenaissance

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work in progress for sonder, the site-specific installation at Papillion Institute of Art. this is the last of three panels that make up this drawing. it is drawn by stamping a QR (Quick Response) code, which is intended to engage technology in a reflexive look at some of the content of this installation by linking the viewer to this website documenting the project.

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LA artist Kenturah Davis time lapse of her first wall drawing…Terminated With Extreme Prejudice, its a tribute to Troy Davis