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Masqueraders Are the Ancestors of Protestors

Thu May 02, 2013 18:00 - Thu Jun 27, 2013

New York, New York
United States of America

Masqueraders Are the Ancestors of Protestors: A Celebration of the Mask as a Tool of Social Change
The Fourth Juneteenth Jubilee Exhibit, Presented by SOL’SAX and The IMC Lab + Gallery

On View May 2 - June 27

A multimedia exhibition celebrating the tradition of honored reverence through masking with works by Saya Woolfalk, Firelei Báez, and SOL’SAX. Works made in collaboration with James Tunick integrate eye tracking, motion tracking, and augmented reality sculpture with projection mapping.

Press Release:
SOL’SAX organizes Jubilees every year to celebrate Juneteenth, an American holiday commemorating the liberation of the last slaves in Texas on June 19th 1865. Each year the Jubilee focuses on a specific cultural product that has been used by culture soldiers to create social freedom.

Masking is a cultural force around the world. The masking strategy celebrated in this exhibit stands in stark contrast to masking traditions that use mimicry and satire to ridicule the other by appropriating their identity. In many animist traditions, masks are more than a tool of anonymity to attack outsiders. They are visual aids to honor Ancestors. Most masquerade traditions of West and Central Africa are focused on defining and redefining their own identity rather than ridiculing or dismissing "the other".

This exhibition explores masquerade traditions that celebrate a deep reverence of self and acknowledges the self as an ancestral construction. Saya Woolfalk has mined ancestral masquerade traditions from around the world, fusing eclectic cultural references by using her personal aesthetic sense as glue. Her ongoing body of work featuring female characters called the “Empathetics” uses empathy as a tool to heal the pain of Colonial globalization, European supremacy and patriarchy. Firelei Báez directs her transformative aesthetic to riff on the Tignon headdress tradition of New Orleans. She celebrates this battle proven cultural soldier strategy of transforming insults into honor with this specific historical reference of cultural resistance. SOL’SAX uses masks that are hybrids of the traditional Dogon ancestral masks of West Africa and the contemporary protest sign to celebrate the protestors of the Civil Rights movement and the nonviolent cultural tools they used with roots in the masquerade traditions of Sub-Saharan Africa. There will also be a performance and video art series where artists Derrick Adams, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Zachary Fabri, Kambui Olujimi and many more will present work featuring masking or the appropriation of a persona. On Juneteenth (June 19th) there will be a Jubilee Masquerade where attendees will be encouraged to bring their own mask.


Co-Create | The IMC Lab + Gallery

Sun Mar 31, 2013 23:59

New York, New York
United States of America

The IMC Lab + Gallery is a technology research lab and a multimedia art gallery with a focus on creative software tools and interactive art forms. Our mission is to support artists and programmers by featuring their work in art shows, funding technology research, providing collaborative facilities for art-making, and finding commercial applications for new technologies.

By partnering artists with technologists, the IMC Lab + Gallery endeavors to facilitate the realization of creative projects that require a multitude of different skill sets. Our goal is to promote research and development of innovative technologies with applications in both the art and commercial worlds, with a particular interest in where these two worlds intersect.

Co-Create is a new artist in residency program that pairs artists with technologists. The program offers fine artists/designers and software developers/engineers the opportunity to collaborate with each other leveraging each other’s skill sets in order to realize an idea. The ideal applicant will present a proposal for a project such as an installation, a software tool, a new media piece, or a commercial app.

For the course of the 6-month residency, which runs June 2013 - December 2013, the IMC Lab + Gallery provides residents access to technology, including computers, projectors, sound equipment, and space to explore the physical realization of the collaboration. The residency will culminate in a 2 person show at the IMC Lab + Gallery showcasing the product of the collaboration.

Residency Dates: June 2013 - December 2013

Please submit all applications to by March 31st, 2013. Submission requirements are below.

  • Contact information (Name, Address, E-mail, Phone Number)
  • Resume/CV
  • Link to Personal Site
  • 250 Word Proposal
  • Three examples of past work (JPEGs, MOV files, links to Vimeo/Youtube, AIFF and WAV sound files, websites)