All posts tagged: Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Sisters Sojourn to Kingston to Update the Truth with Jetsonorama

Sisters Sojourn to Kingston to Update the Truth with Jetsonorama

Two new wheat-pasted and hand painted murals by Jetsonorama in New York State’s first capital call to memory the work of the abolitionist and former slave Sojourner Truth, who at one point called Kingston her home. Born as a slave she had a handful of white masters and endured untold sufferings for nearly three decades before escaping to freedom in 1826.

A powerful feminist and human rights activist who began her vocal advocacy in her 50s until her death at 86, Sojourner became an inspirational pillar of the peoples’ movement in the history of the United States and her words and life continue to be relevant and inspirational to many in our current generation of black women.

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Jetsonorama . Jess X Chen for O+ Festival in Kingston, NY. October 2015. (photo © Jetsonorama)

Working collaboratively with artist Jess X Chen, Jetsonorama bring today’s voices to the fore, writing the words of poets as halos around their heads and pasting their photos here as part of the O+ Festival.

“Over the course of a week Jess and I photographed the poets, created the composition, got the work printed, prepped and pasted,” says the artist about the portraits they did of three poets who speak their truth a century and a half after Sojourner: Mohogany Browne, T’ai Freedom Ford, and Jennifer Falu.

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Jetsonorama . Jess X Chen for O+ Festival in Kingston, NY. October 2015. (photo © Jetsonorama)

The artists ran out of time before mounting Falu’s mural, but will do so at a later time. Each of the poets were chosen because of the power of their expression to move minds and hearts today and because of their lineage to the legacy of Ms. Truths impact on the culture.

“In 1851 she delivered her best known speech at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio,” says Jetsonorama. “The speech was known as “Ain’t I a Woman?” in which she compares the value of her life as a hard working black woman to that of any man. Jess and I wanted to honor the legacy of Sojourner Truth in her hometown and we approached the 3 poets about contributing poems that speak to the challenges of black womanhood.”

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Jetsonorama . Jess X Chen for O+ Festival in Kingston, NY. October 2015. (photo © Jetsonorama)

From Mahogany Browne the came the poem called “Black Girl Magic,” from which this is an excerpt.

“You are a threat knowing yourself.
You are a threat loving yourself.
You are a threat loving your kin.
You are a threat loving your children.

You Black Girl magic.
You Black Girl flyy.
You Black Girl brilliance.
You Black Girl wonder.
You Black Girl shine.
You Black Girl bloom.
You Black Girl, Black Girl
And you turning into a beautiful Black Woman right before our eyes.”

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Jetsonorama . Jess X Chen for O+ Festival in Kingston, NY. October 2015. (photo © Jetsonorama)

T’ai Freedom Ford contributed a poem entitled “i sell the shadow to sustain the substance”, she says is dedicated to Glenn Ligon and Sojourner Truth.

“as black woman i am untitled – nameless
my heart a faint glow of neon wire
buzzing toward some shameless demise.
i stand against walls looking nonchalant.
flashbulbs mistake me for celebrity or bored whore,
same difference.

as black woman i am installation art as negress.
my heart a black plastic bag ghosting streets.
what parts of me ain’t for sale as woman?”

 

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Jetsonorama . Jess X Chen for O+ Festival in Kingston, NY. October 2015. (photo © Jetsonorama)

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Jetsonorama . Jess X Chen for O+ Festival in Kingston, NY. October 2015. (photo © Jetsonorama)

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Jetsonorama . Jess X Chen for O+ Festival in Kingston, NY. October 2015. (photo © Jetsonorama)

For more on Sojourner Truth, you can begin HERE

 

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Curbs and Stoops Presents: “Something Good” An Inaugural Group Show

Curbs and Stoops

If you’re the type who let’s the media decide how you feel about the world, you might be inclined to feel pretty negative about the state of things. Wars are raging, stocks are falling, and the environment has gone to shit. But those of us who turn the volume down on network news stations, while keeping our ears tuned to less impersonal sources, see something different happening. Something Good. People are waking up, bridges are… being built, challenges are being met and transcended. We are learning to speak to one another in manners that transcend the language barrier. And one of the most profound, universal dialects that we can speak is the language of art.

Not only has the technological boom of the late 20th century changed the way we communicate globally, it has had a profound effect on the manner in which art is displayed and promoted. 20 years ago art students were warned that having their art online would not only cheapen it, but open it to the threat of plagiarism and misinterpretation. The past few years has seen the art world, and the young artists who are constantly redefining it, embracing the digital world. This has allowed an interchange of ideas and styles so monumental that even the most stridently old school of critiques will have to admit: The game has changed.

Collaboration has become common place. Mixed media has taken on new meanings. And the notion that a group show requires a coherent visual theme is an idea on the endangered species list. This August 14th, preeminent contemporary art publication Curbs & Stoops will open their inaugural group show at 220 Atelier in Chelsea New York. The show includes pieces in a variety of media from a wide range of the world’s brightest rising talents including: Aaron Nagel, Ashley Zelinskie, Carlos Donjuan, Chor Boogie, Hector Hernandez, Jeffrey Pena, Korakrit, Lapiztola, Pep Williams, and UR New York. The show will serve as a visual manifestation of the publication’s written goal to provide exposure to stellar talents who have one common theme to their work: It’s good. It’s really fucking good.

The “Something Good” show is curated by Chloe Gallagher and Jeffrey Pena. The opening will be an entire night of art and culture with Salsa dancing early in the evening with World Salsa Finalist, Alfred Pena and will end with an exciting performance by local New York City rising hip hop artists who have performed at top cultural venues through out the city including the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

August 14 at 6:00pm – August 15 at 12:00am

220 Atelier

220 West 30th Street Second Floor
New York, NY

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