Sound is inexhaustible, there is never not sound around us. At this juncture, there are things we do not want to hear (the sirens, the numbers) and there are things we do want to hear, like the laughter of a loved one. Even though we cannot be together, we all hear the news and collectively understand that the world is changing. Such acts of listening challenge how we experience a shared reality rather than solely as an individual. We are all in this together.
The work of Lamin Fofana encourages collective listening as a socio-political practice and one such that engenders understanding, healing and responsibility by bridging sounds from the past and present. Today we bring you a guided exhibition tour of BLUES by artists Lamin Fofana and Nicolas Premier:
While navigating this difficult and confusing time together, Mishkin Gallery will continue to share art that presents enlightening modes of consolation within our current state of domestic solitude. We are temporarily moving the Gallery program online to this Mishkin Gallery Blog, first focusing on Lamin Fofana’s exhibition BLUES which, in every respect, aligns with our mission.
BLUES is centered on three sound works. They are Fofana’s thoughtful sonic translations of Sylvia Wynter’s unpublished manuscript Black Metamorphosis from the 1970s, W.E.B. Du Bois’ Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil (1920), and Amiri Baraka’s Blues People: Negro Music in White America (1963). These precise and pulsing sounds will evoke other spaces such as the shores of the Atlantic or the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale in Paris, or even spaces we don’t typically inhabit such as the cosmos, the atmosphere, and the deep sea. Because listening enables us to produce new sonic conceptions of the world, it also consequently brings about new understandings not only of art but of subjectivity and sociality. We hope that this material will transcend the experience of visiting our gallery, transmitting the artwork directly to your kitchen table.
Each Monday we will post new content to the Blog, beginning with a descriptive audio guide to the exhibition developed and produced by Višnja Begović, Mishkin Gallery’s 2019-2020 Nagelberg Fellow. Begović has created a guide that provides formal descriptions, context, and information of works in the exhibition. We remain dedicated to our artists, art workers, friends, students and faculty and are excited to continue to work with you in new and innovative ways.
You can download our exhibition handout here and to access the audioguide please continue.