JASMINE MURRELL: ANCIENT FUTURES
will be at Casita Maria Gallery from
February 5 –April 3, 2014, and will feature the following FREE Public Programs:
Tues., February 11, 2014 from 6-8 PM
Crown & Headdress Making Workshop Thurs., February 27, 2014 from 6–8 PM
To sign up contact
Aisha Jordan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist Talk JASMINE MURRELL in conversation with KENYA ROBINSON Thurs., April 3, 2014 from 6–8 PM
All programs are FREE and open to the public.
For more info visit:
Jasmine Murrell, Moon Rising, 2012
BRONX, NY – (February 2014) Casita Maria is proud to present a survey of JASMINE MURRELL’s recent work, ANCIENT FUTURE, curated by Christine Licata. In this exhibition, Murrell examines western ideologies through a panoramic lens of ancient customs and philosophy, offering the viewer expansive dialogues on equality, diversity and the politics of history. Utilizing sculpture, photography, video, printmaking and performance, her work challenges the accepted hierarchies and belief systems that are the framework of race, gender, class and culture in America.
On view for the first time in ANCIENT FUTURE is a series of wigs and headdresses that, both literally and figuratively, are meant to change the way we see others and our- selves. The wearable headpieces are inspired by indigenous peoples’ knowledge and customs, along with their contemporary impact on society.
Globally, tribes such as the Yoruba (West Africa), the Maya (Pre-Columbian Central America) and the Diné (North America) have used head and hair accessories not only as a means of physical adornment, but as a method for psychological transformation. In modern social science, this same theory has recently been empirically tested and defined as “enclothed cognition” (Adam and Galinsky, 2012). In other words, “what you wear, changes how you think.” This is one example of many that illustrates the advanced metaphysics of ancient cultures.
Constructed from organic and man made materials such as avocado shells, vinyl records and VHS magnetic tape, the headpieces broaden the Western ideal of beauty by integrating the values of ancestral populations throughout the world.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jasmine Murrell: ANCIENT FUTURE Opens at Casita Maria Gallery on Wednesday, February 5, 2014
ABOUT CASITA MARIA CENTER FOR ARTS
Casita Maria Center
Murrell inverts the “progressive” timeline of past, present and future, creating a non-linear narrative of history. She underscores the connections in humankind and the eminence of pre-colonized civilizations in their own right.
One of the many points of reference for Murrell’s Moon Children Everywhere (2012), an afro built from dried avocado skins, is the Nahuatl’s (Pre-Colombian Central America) associations of avocados (ahuacatl) as a symbol of sexuality, fertility and procreation. The wig also integrates one of the Dogon’s (West Africa) many futuristic cosmologies that describes a “Mother Ship” landing on earth to populate the first Africans on Earth. In addition, the use of a globe-like shape is reminiscent of the Yoruba’s (West Africa) belief that the head is the “creator of the world.” Acknowledging these underlying philosophies adds significant depth to the already potent symbol of this natural hairstyle as a sign of inherent beauty, solidarity and civil rights for African Americans.
Another headpiece, Milk Man’s (2012) is inspired by “The Mohawk” hairstyle. In addition to Native Americans (Pawnee, Mohican), it was worn as a symbol of strength by cultures throughout Africa (Mandinka), Ukraine (Cossacks), Iran (Scythians), China (Olmecs and the Shang) and Pre-Columbian Maya (Central America).
Today it is still seen as symbol of power as well as rebellion. Fusing content and form, Murrell integrates the meaning of “The Mohawk” and her choice of materials. Made from strips of VHS magnetic tape and sections from the Yellow Pages, she reformats outdated “data” to challenge how technology and mass media are used to reinforce stereotypes and control social behavior.
Also exhibited are photographs and videos that incorporate Murrell’s headdresses and wigs as protagonists within cinematic narratives. The video Milk Man’s Redemption (2012) contextualizes and animates Milk Man’s into a commentary on the politics of colonialism and imperialism. The piece is inspired by François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, an emancipated slave and leader of the Haitian Revolution (1791–1794). Under his command, slavery was abolished and independence was won for Haiti (1803). Driven by the ideals of the French Revolution, “Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood,” he turned nationalistic propaganda into a universal truth, defeating Napoléon Bonaparte in the process.
For ANCIENT FUTURE, Murrell has made an interactive, futuristic “beauty shop” with wigs created specifically for visitors to try on as part of her exhibition at Casita Maria. She is also offering a headdress workshop on February 27, from 4–6pm* at Casita’s Gallery. As an Art Educator as well as an Artist, it is important to Murrell that Casita’s youth directly engage with her work and witness themselves crowned with inherent potential and unlimited possibilities.
*To sign up for Crown and Headdress workshop with Jasmine Murrell, contact Aisha Jordan: email@example.com
ABOUT THE ARTIST: JASMINE MURRELL is a New York-based interdisciplinary Artist with a long history of community presence in the Bronx. She has a BFA from Parsons School of Design and an MFA from Hunter College. Her solo and group shows include: Skylight Gallery, New York; Pounder Kone Gallery, Los Angeles; JRainy Gallery, Detroit; University of Texas, El Paso; Rush Arts, New York; Governors Island Art Fair, New York; Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York; MoCADA, New York and the African American Museum, Detroit. Murrell has been awarded residen- cies or commissions from Chashama, New York; Third Wheel News Reel, New York; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Detroit; The Detroit Opera House and University of Detroit. Her work has been published in The Amsterdam News, NY1 News, The Arts Council of Michigan Journal, Metro Times and The Detroit News. www.jasminemurrell.com
For more information contact Elaine Delgado at 718-589-2230 x6190
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education | 928 Simpson St., BX, NY 10459 | www.casitamaria.org
for Arts & Education is a 80-year old South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization that presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts
and education programming for all ages. www.casitamaria.org
ANCIENT FUTURE has been made possible in part thanks to the generous support of the Ford Foundation and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Director of Marketing & Individual Giving
(787) 627-9228 firstname.lastname@example.org
Casita Maria Gallery
928 Simpson Street, 6th Floor
Bronx, NY 10459
Posted on Wednesday, February 5th 2014