In Enunciated Life, Black spiritual beliefs—as well as the movements, sounds, and other bodily expressions that have engendered communication within and beyond Black churches—operate as a point of departure for considering modes of surrender. The exhibition’s title is derived from the scholarship of Ashon T. Crawley, who recognizes the beauty and power of breathing within Black Pentecostalism “to enunciate life, life that is exorbitant, capacious, and fundamentally social, though it is also life that is structured through and engulfed by brutal violence.” Enunciated life, in other words, alerts us to the audaciousness of Black breath that endures in the wake of continued anti-Blackness.
The contemporary artists with work in this show, including commissioned works by Shikeith, Billy Mark, and Tiona Nekkia McClodden, draw upon the choreography and sonics of possession found in Black spirituality—the visible signs of embodied surrender, such as sweating, whooping, shouting, back-bending, and chest-opening. Through video, painting, photography, and installation, these artists help us explore the various bodily experiences that transpire through religion; they also make clear the far less legible elements that surround the event of incarnation, such as desire, longing, faith, and vulnerability.
The complete list of artists includes Ashon T. Crawley, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Ja’Tovia Gary, Allison Janae Hamilton, Steffani Jemison, Billy Mark, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Allie McGhee, Naudline Pierre, Marianetta Porter, John Sesrie-Goff, Shikeith, and Carrie Mae Weems.
Enunciated Life is curated by Taylor Renee Aldridge, Visual Arts Curator and Program Manager.
Exhibition Dates: March 27 - August 15, 2021
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