The New Black?

Rashid Johnson confronts the idea of the "black identity" in his art. Recognizing the logical fallacy inherent in the idea that there could be a singular ID for a nation of people, Johnson tries on multiple variations of the black identity from days past. His Triple Consciousness is a stylized altar to singer Al Green in the form of his 1975 greatest-hits album, appearing in triplicate. Johnson further dips into the signals of the past with The Unwearable Dashiki, an abstract pattern created by chicken bones exposed on photosensitive paper. In photographs, paintings, installations and videos, Johnson pays homage to those black icons who represented their era -- Jack Johnson and Sun Ra -- while also poking fun at the futility of trying to be everything to all people. Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks opens Friday, September 20, at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on Washington University's campus (1 Brookings Drive; 314-935-4523 or kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu). Message to Our Folks remains on display through Monday, January 6, 2014; the gallery is open Wednesday through Monday. Admission is free.
Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 20. Continues through Jan. 6, 2013

 
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