On Friday, May 24, from 6:00pm – 8:30pm, the African American Museum in Philadelphia will open two exciting special exhibitions: “DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, ,” featuring works by Fahamu Pecou, and “Self-Evident” by Sonja Clark. This celebration is free and open to the public, and includes complimentary wine and music.
Sonya Clark: “Self-Evident”
On View: May 25 – September 8, 2019 (Gallery 3)
A mixture of new and previous work, “Self-Evident” maps Clark’s artistic trajectory and features work that seamlessly blends visual art and American history. The exhibition is particularly connected to the Museum’s 1976 founding as part of the City’s bicentennial celebration, and its location in the heart of historic Philadelphia — blocks from where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Continental Congress convened. Clark is acutely aware of the Museum’s time and place as she asserts her ancestry and humanity in new work that re-examines James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” — also known as the Negro National Anthem. Sonya Clark’s brilliance is “rooted” in her use of the familiar to invoke the intangible. Her body of work is re-telling and calling back redacted history, using music, light, and hair — the literal fiber of her being — to simultaneously look at the past and present while hinting at the future.
Sonya Clark is currently a professor of art and the history of art at Amherst College. She is also currently the featured as the artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. “Self-Evident” was curated by Dejay B. Duckett, AAMP’s director of exhibitions.
Fahamu Pecou: “DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance”
On View: May 25 – August 25, 2019 (Gallery 4)
This travelling exhibition serves as one artist’s action in opposition to overwhelming societal forces, seeking instead to elevate and re-contextualize Black life and death. Through performance, painting, drawing and video, Pecou reframes our view, incorporating references from Yoruba/Ifa ritual, to cultural retentions of hip-hop, to the philosophy of Négritude. Using these elements Pecou shapes a story that seeks to affirm life via an understanding of the balance between life and death. Fahamu Pecou’s Do or DIE has been organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, in collaboration with the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University.