Studies N Black
A multidisciplinary, month-long festival of performances, city-wide communal exchanges, workshops, and dialogue
co-presented by D UNDERBELLLY
Curated by Baraka de Soleil, Links Hall Artistic Associate
Studies N Black CURATOR’S STATEMENT
Black is you! black is me! black is us! black is we! - The Last Poets
This series is a study of how people perceive “blackness” when represented in real and performative settings, investigating art as it interacts with everyday moments and cultural pluralisms. The title references “blackness” as a notion that all people, regardless of their race, have become intrigued by or developed a deep connection to. What constitutes being black? Can it still be defined as a cultural legacy historically and ancestrally linked to one group of people? It seems that, in pop culture, blackness moves beyond skin color and into a way of being; that you don’t necessarily have to be black to speak, act, dance, sing black. How then do black artists redefine, refute, or embrace this notion?
A range of American artists from the African Diaspora express their blackness through a contemporary aesthetic, creating multidimensional works both distilled from their own relationships to historical legacies and the underlying meanings that arise from addressing issues of race, sexuality, and stereotyping. To honor the mystique of blackness, each week is thematically shrouded with a suggestive title referencing the sometimes indefinable, spiritual, and esoteric essence of how and why these artists do what they do. Communal exchanges will engage us in how these notions have permeated society and brought forth legacies reflected in neighborhoods on the north and south side of Chicago. – Baraka de Soleil, Curator
Baraka de Soleil Photo: Geoff Albores
Painting from Chuwuogo-Roy's "African Diaspora Series #4"