Tag Archives: Mikhaile Soloman

Hyperallergic, Prizm and Morton Fine Art’s Osi Audu and Amber Robles-Gordon

11 Dec

ART

In Miami, a Fair for Artists from Africa and the African Diaspora Shines Again

The Prizm Art Fair, which consistently shows great work, has finally been given the room to breathe.

Charo Oquet, "Like an arrow, like a tree, like a mountain" (2018), mixed media-installation (image courtesy the artist)
Charo Oquet, “Like an arrow, like a tree, like a mountain” (2018), mixed media-installation (image courtesy the artist)

MIAMI — Construction of the Alfred I. duPont Building was completed in 1939, when its primary tenant was the Florida National Bank. I have been there three times in the last two years — once to see Trina perform on an old vault for a Borscht Film Festival party, then for an anticlimactic ghost tour, and last night, for Prizm Art Fair. The space is sweeping and beautiful and very appropriate for Prizm — a fair that consistently shows great work in spaces that never did it justice. It always shone through, but here, in this building, with all its breadth and light, the feeling was a sigh of relief. Work like this needs space. Room to breathe.

Left: Patrick Quarm, “Dada,” oil paint, African print, 33 x 34 1/4 inches; Right: “Mama ba,” oil paint, African print fabric on canvas, 42 x 32 1/2 inches (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Now in its sixth edition, Prizm features talks, performances, and 63 artists across several participating galleries and three specifically curated sections. Dr. Jeffreen M. Hayes’s section, The Diaspora Currency: Black Women, focuses on work by or featuring black women, a means of centering their voices as valuable, actual currency. That’s a real through-line in the fair: reparations, or that which is reparative. Curative. Transforming the forces of capitalism and white supremacy into systems and imaginaries that empower those forced to live under it. “Renegotiation,” says Mikhaile Solomon, Prizm’s founder.

Jamele Wright, “In Transit Number 9” (2018), on display at September Gray (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Solomon has curated her own section, The Dark Horse, which refers to the archetype of the same name — the unforeseen visitor, or here, powerful retaliation. She’s included work like Dáreece J. Walker’s charcoal drawings of die-ins, entitled “The Die-Ins: Can I live” (2018), and a video of Dread Scott’s 2010 performance, “Money to Burn,” in which he burned $250 on Wall Street and invited traders to do the same. Nearby, in the gallery section, Tahir Carl Karmali’s draped raffia robes shine with inlaid cobalt — your phone battery is probably made with it, and a child might’ve mined it. There’s a cost to these hard truths, and one for learning them: willful suspension of disbelief. But knowledge can be reclamation, too.

Christa Davis, "When the Smoke Clears" (2018) (image courtesy the artist and TILA Studios Gallery)
Christa David, “When the Smoke Clears” (2018) (image courtesy the artist and TILA Studios Gallery)

The work at Prizm also channels the spirit of embodiment — the literal, manifested act of being fully inside one’s body. Presence, people call it. Reimagining the self is some form of transformation as well; it’s everywhere at Prizm: Osi Audu’s graphite self-portraits that look like voids, their sheen a suggestion of what’s inside. Amber Robles-Gordon’s works that look like mandalas, decorated with her belongings — cowrie shells, jewels — and entrail-like snakes. Adriana Farmiga’s watercolor acrylic nails, painted rainbow-pastel. Jamele Wright’s big, gorgeous tapestries of fabric, repeated patterns — a reference to the mingling of identities, recycling, even in hip-hop — and red dirt from the earth.

Osi Audu, “Self Portrait after Dogon Bird Mask II” (2018), graphite and pastel on paper mounted on canvas, 15 x 22 inches (image courtesy the artist and Morton Fine Art)
Amber Robles-Gordon, “South and of the Fire” (2016), mixed media on canvas, 34 x 35 inches (image courtesy the artist and Morton Fine Art)

The artist William Cordova curated the third section: Transceivers: channels, outlets and forces. It’s the first you see, and the one I went to last. Experiencing Prizm in a circle — in a cycle — feels right, because the works speak to each other, and the conversation is continuous. Ritual is prominent in Cordova’s section, specifically the ritual of transmitting history, maybe rewriting it. Khaulah Naima Nuruddin’s graphite drawings of Eatonville homes, intimate and distant from the very paper they’re portrayed on, reference the formerly all-black town in Orlando.

Purvis Young at William Cordova’s Transceivers: channels, outlets and forces, installation view (image by Victoria Ravelo)

Prizm’s video works were my favorite of all. Ezra Wube’s animated video, “Hidirtina/ Sisters” (2018), in Solomon’s section, is part of a story collection Wube started in 2004, when he sent out an open call for folklore to a Habesha diaspora community in New York City. His animation is based on a volunteer’s short story, which centers on a group of seven immortal sisters, one  of who falls in love with a hunter. Against the sisters’ warning, he murders a deer, whose sudden listlessness is rendered slowly; his beloved instructs him to climb a tree to protect himself from subsequent cosmic retaliation. Onajide Shabaka’s one-minute “Henry Meade Leighton 1881” (2018), located in Cordova’s section, tells the story of a man’s body, discovered in a river, covered in the muck of swamps. Though his pockets were “officially said to be empty,” says the narrator, “a woven knot of long, black hair was found … inside one pocket of his overalls. Some said, a naked woman of light complexion with long black hair, had been seen swimming in the area. But every search for her ended with no evidence of the woman being found.”

Tahir Carl Karmali, “STRATA I,” raffia, cobalt, oxide, copper and aluminum, 69 x 52 inches (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

The body of the earth is, I think, another thread in Prizm — its ills and treasures, its destruction, the way its losses mirror human loss, the way it grows, enchants, and flourishes anyway.

Prizm Art Fair continues at the Alfred I. DuPont Building (169 East Flagler Street, Miami) through December 9.

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Prizm Art Fair highlighted during Miami Art Week in South Florida Caribbean News

21 Nov

 

By  November 19, 2018

African Diasporic Perspectives Get Their Due During Miami Art Week

PRIZM Art Fair, now in its sixth year, will present 63 artists and a series of thought-provoking programs, representing 15 countries and four continents in Downtown Miami

MIAMI – PRIZM Art Fair dedicated to exhibiting international artists from the African Diaspora returns to Miami with its sixth edition, taking place at the Alfred I. DuPont Building (169 East Flagler Street) from Dec. 3 to 9, 2018.

The fair will open on Tues., Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a special public opening reception sponsored by the Miami DDA from 4 to 8 p.m.

PRIZM is presented in partnership with the Knight Foundation, the Alfred I. DuPont Building, Miami Downtown Development Authority and the Green Family Foundation.

For the sixth edition, PRIZM will present the work of 63 artists within two curated exhibitions, eight exhibitors, and five special events, representing 15 countries and four continents, including the Bahamas, Barbados, Costa Rica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States.

Participating galleries include Alaina Simone Inc, Tafeta + Partners, Emerson Dorsch, Morton Fine Art, N’Namdi Contemporary (Miami), N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (Detroit), September Gray, and TILA Studio.

Mikhaile Solomon of Prizm Art Fair African Diasporic Perspectives During Miami Art Week

Mikhaile Solomon

PRIZM Founding Director Mikhaile Solomon and artist William Cordova will present “The Dark Horse” and “Transceivers: channels, outlets and forces,” respectively.

Solomon’s “The Dark Horse” will consider how the disenfranchised negotiate, re-appropriate and reclaim the tactics used against them to build a future that is inclusive of prosperity for everyone. Cordova’s “Transceivers: channels, outlets and forces” focuses on the intersections between futurism, ritual and the folkloric, three themes that are fluid and continuously transmitting, receiving, informing and forming the world around us.

 

PRIZM’s programming initiatives 

“PRIZM Preview,” “PRIZM Panel,” “PRIZM Film,” “PRIZM Perform” and “PRIZM 6” boast an international experience in partnership with The Africa Center, Barbados Tourism & Marketing and Mount Gay Rum, as well as thought provoking conversations with industry leaders such as Dr. David C. Driskell and Curlee Holton, and performance works that defy and expand our conventional understanding of visual arts practice.

Additionally, PRIZM will feature emerging Miami based artists who are actively engaged in perpetuating the city’s growth as a cultural hub. These artists also address sociopolitical and cultural issues pertinent to the people of African descent in Miami and beyond.

 

PRIZM Art Fair Participating Artists

PRIZM Art Fair will feature artwork by Olu Amoda, Stephen Arboite, Osi Audu, Nicole Awai, Lillian Blades, Alicia Brown, Nyame Brown, Kesha Bruce, Christopher Carter, Ify Chiejina, Taha Clayton, Yanira Collado, Victor Ekpuk, Adriana Farmiga, Maya Freelon, Alfred Conteh, Damon Davis, Morel Doucet, Shaunte Gates, Monique Gilpin, LaMont Hamilton, LaToya Hobbs, Wayne Hodge, Deborah Jack, Justin D. Johnson, N. Masani Landfair, Nate Lewis, Kelley-Ann Lindo, Daniel Lind Ramos, Tahir Carl Karmali, Jodie Lyn Kee Chow, T. Elliott Mansa, Mildred Beltré Martinez, Jared McGriff, Helina Metafari, Kishan Munroe, Marilyn Nance, Shervone Neckles, Khaulah Nuruddin, Nnenna Okore, Niyi Olagunju, Charo Oquet, Alexis Peskine, Robles Gordon, Marton Robinson, Phillip Robinson, Michael Roman, Tylonn Sawyer, Dread Scott, Frank Schroder, Onajide Shabaka, Stephon Senegal, Tariku Shiferaw, Nyugen Smith, Stanley Squirewell, Jean Marcel St. Jacques, Felandus Thames, Dareece Walker, Ronald Williams, Deborah Willis, Paula Wilson, Sephora Woldu and Ezra Wube.

PRIZM Art Fair Programming Highlights 

  • PRIZM Press Preview (First view for press professionals only)

Mon., Dec. 3 from 12 to 4 p.m.

 

  • PRIZM VIP Preview (By invitation only)

Mon., Dec. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m.

 

  • PRIZM Preview VIP Dinner 

Mon., Dec. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m.

In partnership with the Africa Center and Barbados Tourism, PRIZM welcomes guests for an experiential dinner event with Keynote Speaker Uzodinma Iweala, CEO of the Africa Center and Author of the award winning novel, Beasts of No Nation.

 

  • PRIZM Opening 

Tuesday December 4 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Opening reception sponsored by the Miami Downtown Development Authority.

 

  • PRIZM Panel

Wed., Dec. 5 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

The David C. Driskell Center at the University Maryland, College Park presents “The Living Legacy National Speaking Tour” event with Professors David C. Driskell and Curlee R. Holton.

This event will highlight Professor Driskell’s legacy as an artist, scholar and cultural historian and his contributions as well as the contributions of other African American artists to the American artistic canon.

Professor Curlee R. Holton is an artist, master printer and the Executive Director of the David C. Driskell Center.

 

  • PRIZM Film

Thurs., Dec. 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Q&A 4 to 5 p.m.

Life is Fare is a Tigrinya/English feature film exploring three wildly different perspectives on the East African nation of Eritrea. The film’s premise follows Sephora, an idealistic young Eritrean American pitching a well meaning but ludicrous film idea to her traditional mother about a man, Haile, who fled their home country and ended up in San Francisco.

  • PRIZM Perform

Fri., Dec. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Challenging conventional modes of artmaking, performance art has long been a medium wherein artists can utilize a different format to explore, challenge and dissect a range of ideas and frameworks.

  • PRIZM 6 

Sat., Dec. 8 at 9 p.m.

Special performance by a musical guest (to be announced), allowing guests to decompress after Miami Art Week.

 

Admission

⎯ VIP admission: $200 (includes fair catalog, tours, dinner event and access to all events)

⎯ General admission:  Day pass: $15; Multi-day: $50; Students: $5

 

Fair Hours

⎯  Tuesday, December 4, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

⎯ Wednesday, December 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

⎯ Thursday, December 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

⎯ Friday, December 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

⎯ Saturday, December 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

⎯ Sunday, December 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

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