Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year / Calendar / On Screen: Global Intimacy closes

Happy New Year! We're gearing up for all that 2010 has in store and we're starting by putting up a public calendar. You can find it here. We've also posted it below, and it will appear in agenda form on the right hand side of the screen at SWEAT. The first thing on our calendar is the closing of the exhibition On Screen: Global Intimacy. January continues with a poetry reading with readers from Cave Canem and Kundiman at the new Cave Canem offices in Brooklyn and a visit to CalArts. Hope to see you in our travels!

On Screen: Global Intimacy was curated by Tumelo Mosaka at the Krannert Art Museum at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The show includes work by Tiong Ang, Alex M. Hérnandez Dueñas, Andrew Dosunmu, Achillekà Komguem, Donna Kukama, Kambui Olujimi, Hank Willis Thomas, and Fatimah Tuggar, as well as us (Mendi + Keith Obadike). If you have a chance, check it out before it closes on January 3.

Here is a statement for our piece in the show:

Untitled (The Interesting Narrative)

This project juxtaposes a remixed scene from the 1979 film Alien (by director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Dan O’Bannon) with text from Olaudah Equiano’s 1789 autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African. For the Hollywood film, an art student with a Nigerian name (Bolaji Badejo) was recruited to play the alien in an English pub. Ridley Scott alternately refers to him as Somali and Masai as he describes the unusual body needed for this role. In our remix, taken from the climax of the film, the protagonist has been extracted. What remains is only the repeating cycle of the struggling alien, who attempts to escape an attack while cramped in the spaceship’s bowels. This new assemblage is framed with the distorted diagram of an eighteenth century slaveship. We envision Boladji Badejo as a nexus between the Alien saga and Equiano’s real life epic.

Mendi + Keith Obadike

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