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Polypersephony: Nayland Blake & Claire Pentecost

There are two of us, so here are some pairings: shapers and shaped, intrusions and protrusions. Things that make an impression and those that have been impressed upon. Above the ground and the Underground, A side and B Side, center stage and backstage. All that glitters is gold, while beneath our feet the hammers ring and delvers dig ever deeper. We all carry an entrance, a cavern, a place of darkness and quiet. Where the sun don’t shine.

-Nayland Blake

A young woman visits the underworld and gets a taste of something the light could never reveal to her. She will never be the same. Her mother, who happens to be the goddess of the harvest, is devastated because her daughter is changed, is no longer growing only towards the light. The daughter has launched roots, feeling their way in darkness, feeding on the fruits of decay, on the ongoing fruits of measureless life, past and passing into the present, which was always the future until today. The underground is where things transform. Dearest Persephone, please be advised, we can’t protect you from loving the dark.

-Claire Pentecost

CALL + RESPONSE + RESPONSE

http://www.callresponseresponse.com/

CALL + RESPONSE + RESPONSE – presented by the International Center of Photography featuring the 2015 ICP-Bard MFA Candidates – is an immersive PHOTOVILLE 2014 exhibition that demonstrates how photography operates as a conversational tool that initiates engagement and triggers discourse.

http://vult.re/1qKSibe
nonafaustine:

I practically became a groupie after her lecture at the ICP - International Center of Photography. Xaviera Simmons body of work spans photography, performance, video, sound and installation. “She defines her studio practice, which is rooted in an ongoing investigation of experience, memory, abstraction, present and future histories, and specifically shifting notions surrounding landscape, as cyclical rather than linear.” "In Warm Leatherette and Horse (both 2009), Simmons selects diverse record sleeves as the catalyst for the photographs; simultaneously landscape surveyor, photographer, actor, and musician, she stages characters in scenic locales with each face (re)placed by an LP cover depicting a familiar portrait of a musician. This project combines her engagement with landscape, locales, portraiture and performance."
nonafaustine:




Her ground breaking work in “Daufuskie Island” soothed my soul but made it ache still. She captured a time and place I could nolonger go to, a place that for all intense purposes no longer existed. A place that lives in the African American psyche. An island where the descendants of African slaves maintained many of the traditions and beliefs brought over on the ships from Africa.The people of the South Sea islands rich in cultural identity, the last of a dying breed. Jeanne Moutoussamy -Ashe reminded us what was about to be lost.

When I found a personal autograph copy at the Strand Book store she might as well signed it just for me… go find your Daufuskie Island Nona….
nonafaustine:

"I’ve worked in this field for over 20 years and diversity is just dwindling. My partner Deirdre even called me yesterday and said, “I’m in MOMA and I’m looking at these books, ‘50 photographers you should know,’ and guess how many are women? 8. And guess how many are people of color? 2!” You know? The numbers were…startling.It’s like, Really?! Who could consciously publish that in this day and age? Who could look at the entire field of photography and think this made sense? It’s just unbelievable to me that A) the author could conceive of it and B) the publisher could think, Yeah. Good.So in a sense, my scholarship is less scholarship than it is archival work; making sure that I keep counting, keep taking stock of people whose work already exists.”- Carla Williams Untitled Self-Portrait (1986-87)from ‘Pleasure and Beauty’ © Carla Williams
nonafaustine:

"Zanele Muholi is a visual activist and a photographer getting attention for her latest project which chronicles the lives of black LGBT in South Africa. She especially archives the lives of South African lesbians. Her project sends a bold statement, that LGBT are living their lives in spite of. In spite of particularly physical threats, as South Africa is known for it’s violent treatment of black lesbians. Black lesbians living in especially lower classed areas are vulnerable to corrective rape and violent acts against them. These images are beautiful and I hope to see a more positive representation of our black LGBT community across the globe.” -Musing Andrea
nonafaustine:

Sure I had seen her work before. I remember her being on the news battling with then Mayor Rudi Giuliani over her depiction of the Last Supper in the Brooklyn Museum. Casting herself in the role of Jesus Christ naked, black, and female, with black apostles and white Judas. (They described her as a Soho artist and I remembered thinking theres a black woman artist living in Soho LOL I know…I know smh!) She would go on to defy and bust stereotypes wide open. She’s gangsta with the photographics kicking down doors and taking no prisoners. The Jamaican Queen rules!Photo, Renee CoxQueen Nanny Maroon series
nonafaustine:

When I walked into the gallery at MOMA in the fall of 2011 as a new candidate in the MFA program and saw her photographs of mostly dark luscious black women I smiled and said to myself, “YASSS GURLFRIEND you tell em!”Photo, Deana Lawson"Untitled", 2010
nonafaustine:

Deborah Willis, Ph.D., Photographer, Scholar, Curator of Photography, Photographic Historian, Author, and Educator, Mother, University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her work in the field kicked in the door for a whole generation of artists, one of whom she gave birth to Hank Willis Thomas. She reminds us that black photographers were there making history right from the beginning! Her books, lectures, and busy schedule makes her a Super Woman in my view (is my hero worship obvious)."Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present", it displays artists view and their understanding of beauty. The photography shows and describes way more than what a magazine writer can portray. Magazines and television do not come close to describing the beauty I seek to portray in paintings and drawing. Life describes beauty and "Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present" describes most of what I (through my eyes) see in life." - Deborah Willis Harlem Fashion Show, HarlemLeonard Freed, 1963
nonafaustine:

Because I’ll never forget sitting on the floor of a gallery watching her video “Corridor”, 2003 with Wangechi Mutu mesmerized! I thought it was over for me but the seed planted that day would lay dormant for 8 more years and then suddenly grow.Lorna Simpson in her studio