Exhibitions

WE ARE NOT ALIENS: ARTHUR JAFA, MARTINE SYMS, AND AFRO-FUTURISM 2.0
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 2, 5:00-7:00PM
Exhibition Dates: Thursday, April 2 – Saturday, May 9, 2020
FREE and open to the public

UC Santa Cruz Sesnon Gallery

Attached to the Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar dedicated to the research subject “Beyond the End of the World,” directed by T. J. Demos during the 2019-20 academic year, this exhibition assembles select artistic projects that investigate futures of justice founded in the violence of contemporary racism and violence. Jafa’s startling and moving video Love is the Message, the Message is Death, offers a short account of antiblack police violence as well as speculative visions of African-American emancipation, collective resistance, and poetic love, and includes a short passage of artist Martine Syms delivering her “Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto,” in which she states “We are not aliens” (critically distancing herself from earlier formulations of Afro-futurism). The show will reproduce her text as an artistic wall painting, and also include a KCET video that explores the ideas behind the Manifesto, laying out visions of African-American creativity dedicated to the radical imagination of a coming world of liberation.

 

BEYOND THE WORLD’S END
Exhibition Dates: March 6, 2020 – June 21, 2020

Museum of Art and History (MAH), Santa Cruz

In our contemporary moment, apocalyptic narratives have become omnipresent—but what comes after? And how can we get there in ways that are socially just and ecologically sustainable? This exhibition surveys a select range of artistic proposals variously addressing the end of the world and what comes after. The exhibition is part of a Mellon-funded lecture series at UC Santa Cruz that will take place during 2019-20, overseen by T. J. Demos, Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture and Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies.

Artists: Amy Balkin; Laurie Palmer; Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman; Allora & Calzadilla; Super Futures Haunt Qollective; Krista Franklin; Helen and Newton Harrison; Rasquache Collective

 

MOOR MOTHER AND LAS SUCIAS
May 15, 2020, 7:30PM

Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a nationally- and internationally-touring musician, poet, visual artist, and workshop facilitator, and has performed at numerous festivals, colleges, galleries, and museums around the world, sharing the stage with King Britt, Roscoe Mitchell, Claudia Rankine, bell hooks, and more. Her most recent album, Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes, is the culmination of all of her earthly experiences merged with all of her cosmic ones. On Analog Fluids, haunting slave narratives are presented as dystopian allegory and negro spirituals are flipped, remixed, and recaptured, only to be digitized into a symbiotic bio-morph program for the post-thumb drive age. It’s a record rich with the noise and chaos that affirm Moor Mother’s punk roots, yet it is also anchored in earthiness via the constant injection of Black ritual, poetry, and drums programmed to vibrate through the listener’s mitochondria.

Las Sucias is a duo formed by Danishta Rivero and Alexandra Buschman, mixing anti-patriarchal riotgrrrl lyrics, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, brujería noise and possessed vocals. Each performance is a ritual that combines all of the senses and elevates into a higher realm, inspiring the listener to dance, speak in tongues, laugh hysterically, and get possessed by the spirits awoken.