'beauty is more than skin deep.' when your skin does not reflect the status quo, finding your sense of beauty is a constant fight for personal acceptance. a constant practice of restorative justice.
A true passion project, lending time, space and dialogue to the pressures so many boys of color face, in pursuit of being a 'man.' This is much more than just identity and gender. This is political, topical, ironic, intentional, racial, emotional and direct.
+Intersect Fest, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
Space is integral to our understanding of self: the way we feel, are seen, perceived and physically fit into a space are all informed by history, time and geography. As a Portland native, who has seen the displacement of entire communities of color in North and Northeast Portland it has been a true hope and intention of mine to one time see and be apart of the cultural liveliness that once was. I wanted to speak to the gentrification of the Albina neighborhood and provide what it would look like if blacks took back that space.
The background imagery are structures and institutions that are historically white spaces: Harvard University, Columbia University, Georgetown University, and the United States Capitol Building; as well as neighborhoods in Portland that have been gentrified or historically white: the Pearl, the Albina neighborhood, Downtown Portland and the Mississippi District. Spurred on by the inspiration of the Portland Art Museum’s, Constructing Identity exhibition, I collected photographs of artists from Kara Walker to Archie Smith. This photographs of their art are intermixed with visuals of black faces: friends and family. I have drawn inspiration and insights from these professional artists, companions and the experimental work of Miles Davis, whose song Bitches Brew, is set in the background, serving as a symbolic recolonization of jazz and rock music from its historic black roots.
Visuals are fundamental means to articulating thought. Audio augments these visuals in constructing these realities. Objects bring this abstraction into the physicality of the world.
+on the ground: photographs, toys, symbols and memories in front of video
+background music: Bitches Brew, Miles Davis
in a silent film created by two close collaborators, the filmmakers take on abstraction, silence and emotion with a creative lens.
Create videos and animations that explore what masculinity and femininity means to you, inspired by the project, Brown Boy Feelings, led by emerging artists: Tyler White, Ibrahim Ibrahim, Joti Mangat and Juma Sei.
Media created during each session will be combined into a collaborative art installation and debuted in February 2018 at Open Signal in conjunction with the Portland Winter Lights Festival. Contribute your creative voice by attending as many or as few sessions as you’d like!
Pulsar Studio welcomes teens of all gender identities.
The collaborative installation created during Pulsar Studio will be designed and constructed with support from the digital brand and product innovation company Instrument.
In her eyes,
She died that night.
Surrounded and surmounted,
Suffocated and succumbed,
So diligently, she covered her nightly skin,
Every freckle like a star in the sky
And every bruise, a constellation.
Configurations of dark circle,
Enclosed her eyes.
And roses peered out of her fingertips,
Thorns forged from years of clipping and cultivation.
And leaves crowned her head,
With a tilted chin,
Heightened walk and
Her body became a willow,
The willow that holds her son,
From rope built by men.
The willow that delivered
Young women, that saw their bodies,
As night skies, ashamed to be forever bleak,
The willow that uplifted the prophets and
Rooted the angels.
And with an unwavering slash,
Her sons, daughters, prophets and angels,
Cut every knitting of her biblically caressed hide,
Smoked every bee that constructed the hive within her heart
Captured every mystical butterfly cocooning in her ribcage
Sawed off each branch that connected every soul.
The sacrificial black sheep,
Her herd deserted her and the shepherd
In her mind,
We survived that morning.
You came in and the world stopped
My eyes neared end
My heart stopped and I looked so deep into you
I lost it within you
I gave it to you
And you bore me every love that could feel this heart
Every smile so kindred
A mess I stare back and see that you free me from me
You unleash the pieces that fragment, contract and
Display every safety and outshine every hope,
The dream that never made it through
I learn from you
You teach and speak
Captivated. Entirely we must grow
Grow in this
Never allow it to stagnate
To fester. But to build,
Peer out into this world
Blossom and open its mouth wide to softly take it all in
To bear something new
Continue a cycle
Each cocoon a lesson
A new me
I have come to love,
they came running to me,
whispered so sweet,
it felt a treat,
to for once know me.
knew unlocked secrets,
knew names and forsake nothing,
demanded me to be uncompared,
delivered a power so rich,
so human and godly,
they resembled everything i knew to be bad,
and in that i knew they were my god,
my black bringers,
A reflection and mirror blend so well
A face reminds me of me.
But how do we see ourselves?
Do we search in light of what we are told,
Fat, ugly, gay, stupid, black, dirty, poor.
Are our eyes truly ours or the instruments
Of social influence?
Can we truly look into a reflection and Turn from me.
Know it to be us. Can you see?
How do I know its me. Your vision is no longer with eyes wide
What if I lie so where far over there Rather eyes turned,
And nowhere in between? Eyes alive,
Does this reflection display me a truth, Moving and fresh
Or rather gratify me a lie? Harboring no bias or influence
What do we know? To the world in front,
Are we thinking? Are our thoughts ours or Freeing itself of any constraint to order
The accumulation of others, Disrupting the structure
Made manifest in our lives? Searching and not looking
Seeking and not seeing
How powerful the world behind us?
With shadows and lessons and experiences
A past, no pass.
A past, so clear
A future open to us all
One my eyes can see.