Lorna Simpson | Momentum

(Click on the image above to play the video.)

Photographer Lorna Simpson has a new film currently on view at Salon 94 gallery in New York. More about this surreal, intriguing new work from the arts and culture website Nowness:

Artist Lorna Simpson conjures a childhood memory for today’s pirouette-filled film, currently on view at Salon 94 gallery. Coated in gold body paint and accessorized with matching afros, the ballet corps starring in Momentum comprises a group of New York dancers handpicked by the Brooklyn native to reenact her own stage debut at the age of eleven. “I was very surprised by a powerful sense of reversal while performing,” she recalls. “I had this intense urge to occupy the role of observer, as opposed to being immersed in my well-rehearsed effort. I [wanted] to satisfy my need to be the spectator of this performance.” Alongside the video installation, two large-scale felt works silk-screened in gold ink and depicting 1970s postcards of New York’s Lincoln Center, the venue of the original performance, are also on show. The pioneering conceptual photographer, who has shown at the Whitney, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Walker Art Center, revisits themes of gender, cultural identity and history in her work: a recent series for the Brooklyn Museum saw Simpson recreate vintage 1950s images of African Americans with herself as the subject.

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Lorna Simpson | Momentum

(Click on the image above to play the video.)

Photographer Lorna Simpson has a new film currently on view at Salon 94 gallery in New York. More about this surreal, intriguing new work from the arts and culture website Nowness:

Artist Lorna Simpson conjures a childhood memory for today’s pirouette-filled film, currently on view at Salon 94 gallery. Coated in gold body paint and accessorized with matching afros, the ballet corps starring in Momentum comprises a group of New York dancers handpicked by the Brooklyn native to reenact her own stage debut at the age of eleven. “I was very surprised by a powerful sense of reversal while performing,” she recalls. “I had this intense urge to occupy the role of observer, as opposed to being immersed in my well-rehearsed effort. I [wanted] to satisfy my need to be the spectator of this performance.” Alongside the video installation, two large-scale felt works silk-screened in gold ink and depicting 1970s postcards of New York’s Lincoln Center, the venue of the original performance, are also on show. The pioneering conceptual photographer, who has shown at the Whitney, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Walker Art Center, revisits themes of gender, cultural identity and history in her work: a recent series for the Brooklyn Museum saw Simpson recreate vintage 1950s images of African Americans with herself as the subject.

The Reviews Are In…

Check out some of the feedback we’ve received since launching Memory on May Day:


New Model Minority: “The Freshest Thing Since Honey Magazine.”

Afrolicious: “Because it’s created by Black women and for Black women, I get a distinct feeling of intimacy within a genre where we are constantly struggling to prove our worth. I feel honored to be a part of this visual conversation and elated that people showed up. It’s all rather powerful, especially as the photos are placed against each photographer’s words and phrases from authors including Kasi Lemmons, Zora Neale Hurston, Zadie Smith, Angela Shannon and Toni Morrison. “

Crunk Feminists: This digital photography mag grew out of a twitter conversation between three 20-something sisters; the first issue on “Memory” is visually stunning and showcases the diversity of Black art.



National Black Programming Consortium: “We are enjoying the inaugural issue of the online photo mag from Mambu Badu | Photography Collective. Such meaningful images, and such well chosen sparse prose, we adore it: http://bit.ly/lFacTx. And that cover speaks so succinctly to the first chosen theme of memory. Do share this!”

We couldn’t do this without your support. Thank you to everyone who has been reading the magazine and spreading the word.

We are definitely planning future calls for entry so be sure to subscribe to our posts, follow us on Twitter (@mambubadu), ‘like’ us on Facebook, and email us (themambubadu@gmail.com) to stay up-to-date on the latest news from Mambu Badu.

Mambu Badu: The Inaugural Edition is Here


(Click photo to launch magazine.)

Due to some technical difficulties, we’re a day late but the inaugural edition of the Mambu Badu PDF magazine is now live! Thank you to everyone who submitted work, to the photographers who appear in these pages, to people who retweeted us, liked us on Facebook and sent us words of encouragement through letters. It’s much appreciated and we’re grateful for the support.

We love feedback so if you have any comments, questions, or concerns, don’t hesitate to let us know: themambubadu [at] gmail [dot] com.

Happy May Day!

We are definitely planning future calls for entry so be sure to subscribe to our posts, follow us on Twitter (@mambubadu), ‘like’ us on Facebook, and email us (themambubadu [at] gmail [dot] com) to stay up-to-date on the latest news from Mambu Badu.

On performing Blackness + why Mambu Badu exists

On the ride back to D.C. from Saturday’s amazing Black Portrait Symposium at NYU, I checked Twitter to help the time go by. After scrolling through a few tweets about Charlie Sheen, basketball, and standard news updates, @afrolicious popped up talking about a Vietnamese classmate of hers performing Blackness—or rather, the warped view of Blackness that is currently exported through pop culture.

I was absolutely floored by the insights she offered on the commodification of Black culture, how Blackness is performed, and what we as artists, writers, scholars, coders, scientists, etc. need to do to counter those narratives. It was quite serendipitous to see someone on the west coast putting the exact same topics that were being debated and discussed in New York in a larger, global context.

Her tweets also helped me realize why it’s so important Mambu Badu exists. This space exists because we know there are so many stories out there that are being either ignored or distorted. We want to expose those stories. We want to show nuance where there are only broad strokes. And we hope that you, dear reader, wherever you are, will continue on this journey with us. Go here to read the rest of @afrolicious’ posts on the subject. And check out her great blog on arts and culture as well: www.afrolicious.com.

Updates from the Artists: From NYC to Paris

As the ladies of Mambu Badu are working away on the inaugural magazine and logistics for the summer exhibit, the first cohort of selected artist have steadily been working on some great projects.  See what these photographers have been up to and do not hesitate to shoot us an email with questions.

We are definitely planning future calls for entry so be sure to subscribe to our posts, follow us on Twitter (@mambubadu), ‘like’ us on Facebook, and email us (themambubadu@gmail.com) to stay up-to-date on the latest news from Mambu Badu.

(c) Yodith Dammalash, 2011 from the Gama Series

  • SHOW ME YOUR TAX BRACKET // A mixed media, invitational group exhibit featuring over 40 artists from St. Louis, across the United States and Canada. (Curated by Bryan Walsh and Danielle Spradley @ Aisle 1 Gallery)  The exhibit will open March 18, 2011 and continue through April 16, 2011. Gallery Hours: Saturdays Noon-4pm or by appointment
  • Gama Series, an on-going series about my Ethiopian-born grandmother living in America.

NIKITA GALE

  • Currently showing work at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta until April 30th.
  • Participating in Irrational Exuberance, a group show at the Invisible Dog Gallery in NYC from April 30th – May 8th.
  • Collaborating with Streetela, Atlanta streetwear brand.  Show will be held April 9th at Studio 900, Atlanta.  Interview.
  • Showing work in a silent auction and fundraiser for AALAC at Kai Lin Gallery in Atlanta on April 14th.
  • Currently, Sheree is working on her book and as documentarian for Brotherman Comics.

TONIKA “TONI” JOHNSON

  • The youth journalism program co-founded by Tonika “Toni” Johnson, was recently featured in The Chicago Tribune Newspaper.
  • Tonika recently returned from Paris, France photodocumenting the concert of Chicago’s local rapper, Rita J, at La Bellevilloise.

NKECHI EBUBEDIKE

  • Currently working as a producer on a documentary focused on the creation of “Rational House,” a low-cost, sustainable urban housing development in London. The project will be launched at the prototypes unveiling this summer.

The LADIES OF MAMBU BADU are up to a few projects as well:

  • Ms. Alice Wonder AKA Allison McDaniel just posted a series of photographs entitled, “It’s Warm Somewhere.” While the east coast has been battling through its share of frigid weather, Allison’s warm and inviting photographs are a reminder sun, shorts, and picnics are not too far away.
  • Danielle Scruggs‘ self-portraits were just published in F-Stop Magazine Issue #46, “All About Me.” Scroll to the 12th row to see two of her images.
  • Kameelah Rasheed‘s photographs of South Africa were published in Harvard’s Transition Magazine.  Kameelah’s conceptual piece, “Counterfeit: Like a Virgin” was published in South African-based magazine, ITCH.  Her essay, “Lines of Bad Grammar” is published in the book I Speak for Myself:  American Women on Being Muslim, which will be released on May 2nd.  She is interning for Liberator Magazine and is interviewing New York-based artists including Laylah Amatullah Barrayan, Jamel Shabazz and Dread Scott.

*An earlier version of this post had Jennifer’s middle name wrong. It has since been corrected and we regret the error.

Selected photographers for Memory, our first call for entries!

We are thrilled to announce that the following photographers have been selected for Mambu Badu’s inaugural call for entries, Memory:

Yodith Dammlash
Nkechi Ebubedike
Jennifer Noelle Everett
Nikita Gale
Tonika Johnson
Sheree R. Swann

We will be producing a PDF magazine to highlight their work, which will be released this spring. Later this summer, we will also feature their work in a gallery exhibit. We must also give thanks to everyone who participated in our very first call for entries. We received some amazing submissions and it was hard to whittle the list down.
We are definitely planning future calls for entry so be sure to subscribe to our posts, follow us on Twitter (@mambubadu), ‘like’ us on Facebook, and email us (themambubadu@gmail.com) to stay up-to-date on the latest news from Mambu Badu. Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to making 2011 a banner year!

Selected photographers for Memory, our first call for entries!

We are thrilled to announce that the following photographers have been selected for Mambu Badu’s inaugural call for entries, Memory:

Yodith Dammlash
Nkechi Ebubedike
Jennifer Noelle Everett
Nikita Gale
Tonika Johnson
Sheree R. Swann

We will be producing a PDF magazine to highlight their work, which will be released this spring. Later this summer, we will also feature their work in a gallery exhibit. We must also give thanks to everyone who participated in our very first call for entries. We received some amazing submissions and it was hard to whittle the list down.
We are definitely planning future calls for entry so be sure to subscribe to our posts, follow us on Twitter (@mambubadu), ‘like’ us on Facebook, and email us (themambubadu@gmail.com) to stay up-to-date on the latest news from Mambu Badu. Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to making 2011 a banner year!

Updates!

If you missed the deadline for the Memory call for photos, don’t fret! It’s been extended to December 17th, 2010 at 12AM EST.

Thank you to the artists who have already submitted, and we’re looking forward to receiving more!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to shoot an email to themambubadu@gmail.com.