Do This In Memory of Us invites our engagement with narratives reflective of visions of diverse Blackness. Each exhibiting Artist borrows inspiration from the plurality of historic and contemporary African life; the flow and exchange between African and Western tradition, while developing an African singularity. Accepting the role and responsibility of contemporary black artists towards time, and the opportunity of exploring new frontiers, all three exhibiting artists remodel visual language to suit their unique articulation or iteration of blackness, developing tropes and symbols that make references to an African experience or knowledge system.
Thematically building on Ehikhamenor’s practice of exploring resonances and divergences between African and African American art, Do This in Memory of Us in part examines the relationship between the ancient African kingdom of Benin, contemporary Congo DRC and the trajectory of the African diaspora in the New World, while equally featuring new works that reflect the two regions common yet divergent cultural identities, the exhibition transcends borders and creates a through line that expresses the cultural connections between the African heritage and the African American diaspora.
Entirely, the exhibition expresses Blackness as a conduit connecting ancient and contemporary African knowledge systems and experience from the continental and extra continental scenes, hereby offering a gift of an interwoven knowledge system to humanity portraying Blackness as a radical humanist intention, inspiring global consciousness and transcending all of humanity to higher ethics and a more inclusive space and time.
Lehmann Maupin‘s West 22nd Street Gallery (536 west 22nd street, New York)