Art and Activism # 2: Voices from America
Art and Activism # 2: Voices from America
Thursday, November 12, 2020
7.00pm-8.30pm, New York/Baltimore
Join us for an online conversation with Algernon Miller, Ada Pinkston and Irene Antonia Diane Reece.
This cross-generational conversation with the Casablanca Biennale’s three American artists will focus on the highly topical issues that have shaken the United States in 2020 from the notorious cases of police brutality, the lack of equal justice, and the unrest resulting from it, to the current presidential elections.
Introducing their individual and collaborative approaches, the artists will discuss the diverse creative means, mediums and genres through which they explore themes ranging from pure aesthetic concerns, to personal narratives and collective experiences, often leading to socio-politically engaged visual or performative practices, and activism.
Conversation moderated by Christine Eyene
Irene Antonia Diane Reece
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Irene Antonia Diane Reece lives and works between the United States and Europe. She graduated with a B.F.A in Photography and Digital Media at the University of Houston (2018) and M.F.A in Photography and Image-making at Paris College of Art (2020).
Her array of photographic works, appropriated films, usage of text, and found objects, create an insight towards issues that revolve around racial identity, African diaspora, social injustice, family histories, mental and community health issues. Her work pushes boundaries and forces the viewers to confront issues that are deemed difficult to tackle. She identifies as a contemporary artist and visual activist. Her recent work questions society’s perspectives on her racial identities and combats the social norms in regards to being a Black Mexican woman living in the United States and Europe.
Her first solo exhibition, Mon Frère, was presented at Lawndale Art Center: Project Space in Houston (2017). Her latest group exhibitions include: XicanX: New Visions, Centro de Artes in San Antonio, Texas, curated by Dos Mestizx (Suzy González and Michael Menchaca) (2020). Reece also featured in El Chow: Fruto en Vaina, El Rincón Social, Houston, curated by Maureen Penders, as part of FOTOFEST BIENNIAL Participating Spaces (2018).
Ada Pinkston is a multimedia artist, educator, and cultural worker living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a lecturer in Art Education at Towson University. As an artist, she explores the intersection of imagined histories and sociopolitical realities on our bodies using performance, digital media, and mixed-media sculptures and installations.
Her works have been presented at a variety of spaces including the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, the Walters Art Museum, the Peale Museum, Transmodern Performance Festival, P.S.1, the New Museum, Light City Baltimore and the streets of Berlin, Baltimore, and Orlando.
She is a recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant in Visual Arts, administered by The Contemporary (2017), and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Ruby's Project Grant in Visual Arts (2017). A graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A.) and Maryland Institute College of Art (M.F.A.) she has presented lectures on public space at the French Embassy, NYU, UCLA and the National Gallery of Art.
Algernon Miller is a pioneering figure of Afrofuturist art. Educated at the School of Visual Arts (1965-67) and The New School (1967-68) during America’s cultural revolution, Miller’s Downtown art world included happenings and Pop, Fluxus and Warhol films, the Beat poets and jazz. Uptown, he absorbed African drumming, African-American dance, and Afrocentric fashion. At Slug’s Saloon on East 3rd Street, Miller was among the prominent artists, musicians, writers, and celebrities who gathered on Monday nights to hear the Afrofuturist jazz of Sun Ra. Inspired by Sun Ra’s cosmic grooves, Miller evolved what he calls a “transformationist” consciousness that synthesized Past, Present, and Future. His Present embraced cutting-edge technology and spirituality, and he envisaged an alternative future that transcended the alienation of race-based identity, while remaining “hooked into” his African heritage. These defining elements of Afrofuturism continue to resonate in his work.
His exhibitions include Algernon Miller: Time Being, Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba, New York (2019); Liquid State, Axis Gallery, NY and Harlem Postcards: Summer 2017, The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (both 2017); RESPOND, Smack Mellon Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2015); Sun Ra Space Place, Salon 94 Project Room, NY (2014); i can do dat - Contemporary Abstract Art, Rush Arts Gallery, NY (2013); Roads To Equality, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY (2012); The Global Africa Project, Museum of Arts and Design, NYC (2010-2011).
All images, courtesy the artists.
Ada Pinkston (detail), photo by Theresa Keil.