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Shadows Of Becoming Exhibit At The Africa Center

Source: Fade Catcher, 2021 – States Of Becoming / The Africa Center


 

Black History Month is heavily celebrated over on this side of the Internet, and we always strive to show our culture from all aspects; Black art is especially a focus that we hope to reflect here at REACH Media.

That’s why it was more than an honor to be invited by The Africa Center in Harlem recently to experience a new exhibit that not only ushers in a new era of Black creativity into the venue but also showcases many voices at once from artists that represent Black life spanning over the past three decades.

States Of Becoming, the venue’s latest exhibit running since October 2022 and now extended to April 2, is a diverse view at our culture from the eyes of 17 contemporary African artists with their own American stories to tell.


 

RELATED: Black Museums In Florida Provided $30 Million in Funding Thanks To State Grant

More on this dynamic art experience happening in Harlem for the next few weeks below, via the official press release:

“The concept for States of Becoming evolved from curator Fitsum Shebeshe’s lived experience following his 2016 move from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Baltimore, Maryland and his subsequent firsthand knowledge of the weight of cultural assimilation. Confronted with a different society, Shebeshe encountered a wide range of existential questions that shaped his relationship to institutions and culture. Shebeshe also had the realization for the first time that he was viewed as belonging to a minority because of the color of his skin, and a newfound awareness of the profound impact Ethiopia’s traditional and conservative culture had on his personal sense of individuality.

Having found kinship among cultural practitioners from the African Diaspora who shared his experience, Shebeshe has united 17 artists with ‘States of Becoming’ who either came to the United States over the past thirty years or who are first – generation born. The artists represented in ‘States of Becoming’ relocated from twelve countries in Africa and one in the Caribbean – Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe – with roots in cities across the U.S., including New York, Washington, D.C., New Haven, Detroit, and Los Angeles.”

Shadows Of Becoming Exhibit At The Africa Center

 

Shadows Of Becoming Exhibit At The Africa Center

Source: A(f)mrka, 2021 – States Of Becoming / The Africa Center


 

Each piece encourages you to get up close and truly look at the texture being conveyed on canvas. Some even include video components, like Miatta Kawinzi’s A(f)mrka (2021)that even comes accompanied with a matching blue rocking chair for a comfortable view of the art. You quickly notice that everything down to the use of blue itself is intentional, which Kawinzi was on location to confirm as she and exhibit curator Fitsum Shebeshe walked us through the meaning behind each piece.

“This exhibition allows for further understanding of not only my own experiences, but also those of the artists,” Shebeshe stated in the press release, going on to add, “By analyzing both the unique aspects and commonalities together with The Africa Center’s global and local communities, we can reimagine together how we think about how identity is continually shaped and reshaped.”

Dr. Uzodinma Iweala, CEO of The Africa Center, echoed Shebeshe’s statement by adding himself, “Through the cultural markers and forms of creative expression that are the most unique to African and African Diasporic communities, ‘States of Becoming’ explores the ways in which both African and Afro-Diasporic identities co-exist and shape each other, offering us an opportunity to imagine what the contemporary and future Pan-African identity – or identities – might become.”

 

Artist List:

Gabriel C. Amadi – Emina

Kearra Amaya Gopee

Kibrom Araya

Nadia Ayari

Vamba Bility

Elshafei Dafalla

Masimba Hwati

Chido Johnson

Miatta Kawinzi

Dora King

Helina Metaferia

Nontsikelelo Mutiti

Yvonne Osei

Kern Samuel

Amare Selfu

Tariku Shiferaw

Yacine Tilala Fall

 

Shadows Of Becoming Exhibit At The Africa Center

Source: New(o)man, 2018 – The Africa Center / The Africa Center


States of Becoming, organized by Independent Curators International (ICI),is on display at The Africa Center until April 2, available to view on a “Pay As You Wish” system.

Keep scrolling for a look at some of the standout pieces from our visit to the ‘States Of Becoming’ exhibit in Harlem, and continue to enjoy (but most importantly learn!) during Black History Month:

Harlem’s New ‘States of Becoming’ Exhibit Offers A Vivid View Into Decades Of Being Black In America  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

1. Kibrom Araya, ‘Zikir’ (remembrance), 2020

Kibrom Araya, 'Zikir' (remembrance), 2020 Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

2. Kibrom Araya, ‘Zikir’ (remembrance), 2020.

Kibrom Araya, 'Zikir' (remembrance), 2020. Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

3. Kearra Amaya Gopee, video still from ‘Artifact #3: Terra Nullius,’ 2019.

Kearra Amaya Gopee, video still from 'Artifact #3: Terra Nullius,' 2019. Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

4. ‘Between the Voids,’ Yvonne Osei, still from diptych video, 2012.

'Between the Voids,' Yvonne Osei, still from diptych video, 2012. Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

5. Miatta Kawinzi, ‘SHE GATHER ME,’ 2021, HD color video & 16 mm color film transferred to video with two – channel audio, three wooden rocking chairs, silver mylar floor, dimensions variable. Installation view at CUE Art Foundation, NYC.

Miatta Kawinzi, 'SHE GATHER ME,' 2021, HD color video & 16 mm color film transferred to video with two - channel audio, three wooden rocking chairs, silver mylar floor, dimensions variable. Installation view at CUE Art Foundation, NYC. Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

6. Nadia Ayari , ‘Build I,’ oil on linen, 50 x 46 inches, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Taymour Grahne Projects

Nadia Ayari , 'Build I,' oil on linen, 50 x 46 inches, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Taymour Grahne Projects Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

7. Nontsikelelo Mutiti, ‘EVERYTHING IS WHERE IT IS EXPECTED,’ 2019 , screen printed satin scarf, marbled paper, selection of Nollywood DVD’s and hair dressing objects. Installation view of exhibition at Printed Matter, New York.

Nontsikelelo Mutiti, 'EVERYTHING IS WHERE IT IS EXPECTED,' 2019 , screen printed satin scarf, marbled paper, selection of Nollywood DVD's and hair dressing objects. Installation view of exhibition at Printed Matter, New York. Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

8. Amare Selfu, ‘Walk in the Rain,’ 2007, oil on canvas, 43″ x 31″.

Amare Selfu, 'Walk in the Rain,' 2007, oil on canvas, 43" x 31". Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

9. Miatta Kawinzi, ‘SHE GATHER ME,’ 2021, HD color video & 16 mm color film transferred to video with two – channel audio, three wooden rocking chairs, silver mylar floor, dimensions variable. Installation view at CUE Art Foundation, NYC.

Miatta Kawinzi, 'SHE GATHER ME,' 2021, HD color video & 16 mm color film transferred to video with two - channel audio, three wooden rocking chairs, silver mylar floor, dimensions variable. Installation view at CUE Art Foundation, NYC. Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

10. Amare Selfu, ‘Interwoven II,’ 2017, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36”.

Amare Selfu, 'Interwoven II,' 2017, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36”. Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

11. Masimba Hwati, ‘Rückspiegel 2,’ 2021, found materials.

Masimba Hwati, 'Rückspiegel 2,' 2021, found materials. Source:The Africa Center

States of Becoming
October 14, 2022 – April 2, 2023
The Africa Center
1280 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029