Lamin Fofana — BLUES
Lamin Fofana — BLUES
Featuring Lamin Fofana with Nicolas Premier and Jim C. Nedd
March 12, 2020; March 21-May 6, 2022; and online https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/mishkingallery/
BLUES is an exhibition by Sierra Leone-born, New York-based musician and artist Lamin Fofana. Fofana’s music is a conduit for engaging with an array of issues involving blackness, migration, displacement, and race through collective listening. The exhibition centers on a trilogy of sound works comprising the albums Black Metamorphosis, Darkwater, and Blues that engage with seminal texts by Sylvia Wynter, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Amiri Baraka to reflect on historical and epistemological trajectories of contemporary social and political thought through the lens of Black Studies. These works will be presented alongside videos and photographs by Fofana and his collaborators Jim C. Nedd and Nicolas Premier.
Fofana creates spaces for contemporary black life in the West that are informed by his interest in history and the sonic and “allow for dreaming and imagining other ways of being” which foreground non-linear thinking and experience. Aiming for both physical and emotional resonance, the works attempt to challenge authoritative forms of representation and communication while drawing upon the artists’ personal experiences of diaspora, the coming and going of communities. Throughout the exhibition, the Gallery will hold live music performances, talks, readings, and listening sessions to collectively think through what Christina Sharpe calls “wake work”, living with and attending to the paradoxical history of slavery and its afterlives.
A booklet with contributions by Alaina Claire Feldman, Lamin Fofana, Dino Dinçer Şirin, and excerpts of primary source texts that accompany the exhibition is available here. A special zine designed by Alexandra Tell including recent writing by the artists will account for and reflect on the past two years since the exhibition had initially opened and is available here.
BLUES is curated by Alaina Claire Feldman. The exhibition was made possible by the Baruch College Fund and the George and Mildred Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. Additional support was provided by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. The listening session on March 14 is presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut.
About the Artists
Lamin Fofana is an artist and musician. Fofana’s music contrasts the reality of our world with what is beyond it, and explores questions of movement, migration, alienation and belonging. Fofana’s overlapping interests in history and the present, and his practice of transmuting text into the affective medium of sound, manifests in multisensory live performances and installations featuring original music compositions, field recordings and archival material. His latest releases include Black Metamorphosis, Darkwater, and Blues (an album trilogy). Recent exhibitions include Ballad Air & Fire for Preis der Nationalgalerie at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany (2021); a call to disorder at Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2021); Life and Death by Water for the Liverpool Biennial 2021 at Lewis’s Building, Liverpool, England; Refracted Gazes/Fugitive Dreams at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany (2019); WITNESS at 57th Venice Biennale, Italy (2017); and performances at Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany and Athens, Greece (2017). In 2021, Fofana was awarded a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants and was nominated for the National Gallery Prize in Germany. Fofana hosts a monthly radio show on NTS Radio, an online station based in London.
Jim C. Nedd is a Colombian and Italian artist based in Milan. He works predominantly in photography, and music as the duo Primitive Art alongside Matteo Pit. From 2015 to 2020, Nedd assisted the Italian artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari at Toiletpaper magazine. In 2015, with Invernomuto, Nedd co-directed the documentary Pico: Un Parlante de África en América, and in 2016, in collaboration with Honest Jon’s Records, he co-edited the music compilation GUARAPO!: Forty Bangers from Barranquilla, both works focusing on the Afro-Colombian legacy of music in the Caribbean regions. Nedd’s work has been exhibited at Autoitalia, UK; Athens Biennial, Greece; Damien & the Love Guru, Belgium; Hamburger Bahnhof, Germany; Liverpool Biennial, UK; and SANDY BROWN, Germany. Nedd’s work has been published by Aperture Magazine; Vogue; GQ; Kaleidoscope; Esquire, and he has collaborated with brands such as Bottega Veneta, Off-White and Prada.
Nicolas Premier is a French-Congolese artist living and working in Paris. His work interrogates Modernity and contemporaneity from off-screen experiences and knowledge by performing social, temporal, and spatial scale changes. Premier is interested in the links of mutual borrowing, fascination and dazzlements, as Joseph Tonda understands them, that exist between and towards the African diasporas. Selected works include Regular Man (2010), Our Poetry (2012), Africa Is The Future Magazine Covers (2015), Style (2017), Misericordia (2019), and Black Metamorphosis (2019). He has recently exhibited at E:Werk in Luckenwalde, Germany (2021), and the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Germany (2021).
BLUES installation view. Photograph: John Smock, 2022.