postblackness

4

In a gathering of artistic minds, Renee Cox (i found god in myself), Dianne Smith (i found god in myself), Bayete Ross Smith (Question Bridge: Black Males) and Hank Willis Thomas (Question Bridge: Black Males) met on the Langston Hughes Auditorium stage at the Schomburg Center in Harlem. The topic of the night, “Black Art + Identity Politics?” took the artists through a whirlwind of topical and timely conversations about blackness and consequently post-blackness, art-making, and gender. Cox stole the stage as she spoke about her latest project “Sacred Geometry”. She described this work as having emerged from a place between no thought and everyday thoughts, more precisely, from a place of joy— a three-letter word, she rightly points out— hardly circulating throughout the art world. To close the evening, she offers these words of advice to curators and artists on the rise: “When you show work, make sure it’s complete,” and finally, “Don’t question yourself… don’t let [doubt] get inside you.”

To learn more about her work check out: http://www.reneecox.org/

Renee Cox and Dianne Smith are currently featured in the exhibition i found god in myself at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Hank Willis Thomas and Bayete Ross Smith are currently featured in the exhibition Question Bridge: Males also at the Schomburg.

Images from reneecox.com and the Schomburg Center.

-Curatorial Fellow, Stephanie George

Watch on runnersfour.tumblr.com

Toure: There’s no one way to be Black.

I love this video for the simple fact that it articulates the truth that we as Black Americans are very complex multidimensional people and that we owe it to ourselves to define our individual existences in whatever ways we see fit. There is no “expectation” (Post-Blackness)

Also, here is Toure’s book on the matter…

THE STUDY - Vol.1.6

Whos Afraid of Post-Blackness, What it means to be black now – Toure

"Black people don’t do that!"

This examination will be short, mainly because we have all been down this path. We have crossed this street and addressed these issues in our own minds time and time before. What is Black? Who are we to judge Black? What does Black do? What does Black not do?

This question is firmly rooted in Black fashion. Scroll through this blog, any blog. Black fashion… is everything, does everything.

image

Unequivocally, a must read for anyone who wants to remain relevant in a world of constant refinement.

Toure has been classified as everything under the sun, and then some. The critical analysis of his life has brought him to the crossroads of Blackness Vs Blackness. Toure has crafted an exceptional piece depicting the ever changing concept of Blackness.

Toure’s position is an interesting one, he challenges the restrictions that the “Black” identity creates. He ever goes so far to challenge the restrictions we Blacks put on each other. We’ve all heard it… “Black people don’t do that”. Case in point, yes, we do.

This spirited often humorous book critiques the 21st century Black and spins it into an understandable amalgamation of past present and future. Read it with an open mind, and a reflective spirit. You wont regret it.

The rules of Blackness no longer exist.

Do you think post blackness exists and if so, are you afraid of it?

"Post black art…was shorthand for a discourse that could fill volumes. For me, to approach a conversation about "black art," ultimately meant embracing and rejecting the notion of such a thing at the very same time."

Senam Okudzeto

Disarmament Series from Ghana Must Go

2004

acrylic ink on paper

Play with your own squishy - Andre 3000

The circumcision has already begun

Desensitizing the very thing or thang that brought you into this motherfucker in the first place

And when I say “motherfucker” I do mean “motherfucker”

Because Mother Earth is dying and we continue to fuck her to death

Play with your own squishy, become the master of your own bation

And yes, God is watching you, but no need to be embarrassed

For the future is in your hands, no the future is in your hand

Play with your own squishy.

P is for Post Black

Post Black: is rooted in Blackness, but not restricted by Blackness. [Toure 2011, Who’s Afraid of Post Blackness, xi]. An emphasis is on Blackness, [art] reflects experiences that were colored by the social constructs of being Black in America. As a social construct, Post Blackness deconstructs Black identity. 

 Thelma Golden + Glenn Ligon’s definition: 

Post Black Art: “a clarifying term that has ideological and chronological dimensions and repercussions. It is characterized by artists who are adamant about not being labeled as ‘Black’ artists, though their work was steeped, in fact deeply interested, in redefining complex notions of blackness” (Golden, 2001, Freestyle, 14).

 

 Ytasha Womack’s definition on an Era:

Post Black Era: “is a time in which the complex diversity within the African American community in the midst of increased opportunity must be recognized and some synergy uncovered” (Womack, Post Black 2010).

The Idea Of #PostBlackness With #RashidJohnson | “A lot of people ask me about post-Blackness. I tend to not give consistent answers because it is language that is still developing.” | Read the full interview now at #FRANK151.com

"[Mark Bradford’s art] is also an instructive example of what “post-black” art means: art that can choose to refer to racial identity — or to class, or gender, or aestheticism, or daily life — or choose not to."

noted art critic Holland Cotter on:

Mark Bradford

Los Moscos

2004

mixed media on canvas

"I’m dealing with what goes into making an African-American myth, but slavery still exists. The jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk calls it volunteer slavery. We elect to become servants to a certain system or company or product. We don’t open ourselves to the total choices of freedom. We look at a limited palette and choose from that."

Willie Cole

Anne Klein with a Baby in Transit

shoes, wire, washers, screws

2009

 

"I do not feel as though issues of identity are exhaustible. The notion of identity, be it self-constructed or as an imposed ideology from outside, means to me that it is a complex and contradictory system."

Lorna Simpson

still from Easy to Remember

video installation

2001