Oracles, Chains, and Contraptions in “Crossing Brooklyn”

By Curatorial Fellow Naimonu James

“Crossing Brooklyn,” curated by Eugenie Tsai and Rujeko Hockley of the Brooklyn Museum, honors the borough’s disjointed diversity as well as its ability to offer a little bit to everybody. In total, there are 35 Brooklyn-based artists who take on their own slice of the borough, timely as Brooklyn continues to change at a dizzying pace. A favorite of the show was Heather Hart’s “The Oracle of Epicure: Tooth for Tooth” in which a gold box (complete with a mammy head) holds the recipes of former visitors for trade, as long as the viewer leaves a recipe as replacement.  William Lamson and Yoko Inoue also deserve mention for their works. Lamson’s at times humorous video of himself struggling to mount a contraption meant to create the illusion of a person floating on top of water, is a refreshing offer of artistic process over pristine final product. Inoue brilliantly weaves Japanese, Brazilian, and African diaspora together in her installation of chains crafted from the cloth of residents of the Brazilian city where she lived for a time. The piece, striking in its global perspective, is elevated by photos of Japanese women chaining themselves to chairs in protest of the construction of an airport in their town. If you head over the the Museum in the next few months (the exhibition is up until January) make sure you catch the MoCADA card pinned to Paul Ramírez Jonas’ grand cork sculpture, “The Commons.”   

Photo Credit: ©Heather Hart and ©William Lamson

Do you drink coffee? If so, two months of buying coffee at your local cafe equates to a one year membership at MoCADA. For all you non-coffee drinkers, you probably spend more per year on tea. For all you non-tea/coffee drinkers, let’s not bring up happy hour. Lastly, if you don’t drink coffee, tea, or partake in a little libation from time to time, you’ve saved more than enough for a membership and we commend you.

Do you drink coffee? If so, two months of buying coffee at your local cafe equates to a one year membership at MoCADA. For all you non-coffee drinkers, you probably spend more per year on tea. For all you non-tea/coffee drinkers, let’s not bring up happy hour. Lastly, if you don’t drink coffee, tea, or partake in a little libation from time to time, you’ve saved more than enough for a membership and we commend you.

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Tiphanie Yanique’s acclaimed #novel ’Land of Love and Drowning’ is a 3-generational #family story set to the #beautiful backdrop of the #VirginIslands. Focusing on 3 beautiful and #magical siblings who are orphaned after a shipwreck the #story is filled with magic, #love, #intrigues, #deaths, and #triumphs.
Get this ray of #sunshine at #Mocada’s #gift #shop. (her: MoCADA Museum)

Tiphanie Yanique’s acclaimed #novel ’Land of Love and Drowning’ is a 3-generational #family story set to the #beautiful backdrop of the #VirginIslands. Focusing on 3 beautiful and #magical siblings who are orphaned after a shipwreck the #story is filled with magic, #love, #intrigues, #deaths, and #triumphs.
Get this ray of #sunshine at #Mocada’s #gift #shop. (her: MoCADA Museum)

HYCIDE’S Walt Whitman Houses Photomural Project 

Thursday, October 9
Mural Installation: 10am - 5pm 

Location: Walt Whitman Handball Courts 
Park Ave. and Cumberland St, Brooklyn NY 

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) and HYCIDE Magazine are excited to unveil a new photomural in collaboration with the residents of the Walt Whitman Houses. 
 
On August 23, MoCADA and HYCIDE Magazine held a photography workshop that featured youth, elders, positive role models, and the beauty that makes up the Walt Whitman Houses. Participants received disposable cameras and were guided in documenting what inspires them.
 
The photographs taken from that day are being transformed into a collage and wheatpasted as a mural on the handball court at Walt Whitman. Join MoCADA and HYCIDE Magazine for a day of celebrating the lives of Walt Whitman community members through art.  

Photography by Akintola Hanif

Panel Discussion on Environmental Justice with Nicholas Powers and Lorraine CurrelleyModerated by Li SumpterThursday, October 9 | 6 - 9PMMoCADA (80 Hanson Place)RSVPJoin us for a lively, thoughtful, informative panel discussion between artists and activists on environmental justice in the African Diasporan community. Moderated by Ph.D. candidate Li Sumpter, whose research interests converge at the crossroads of art and science, nature and technology, and the archetypal patterns emerging on the visual surface of contemporary culture. Come learn about the conception of a/wake in the water and talk about pressing environmental issues.Nicholas PowersNicholas Powers is a poet, journalist and professor. His first book, Theater of War, was published by Upset Press. He has written for The Indypendent, Alternet and The Village Voice. He teaches literature at SUNY Old Westbury and co-hosts the long running New York City College Poetry Slam at the Nuyorican Cafe.Lorraine CurrelleyLorraine Currelley is a poet, writer, educator and mental health counselor. She is the Founder/Executive Director of Poets Network & Exchange, a safe, positive and supportive venue for poets and writers at all levels, where she facilitates poetry and creative writing workshops, produces featured poetry readings and a Scholar Lecture Series.

Panel Discussion on Environmental Justice with Nicholas Powers and Lorraine Currelley
Moderated by Li Sumpter

Thursday, October 9 | 6 - 9PM
MoCADA (80 Hanson Place)
RSVP

Join us for a lively, thoughtful, informative panel discussion between artists and activists on environmental justice in the African Diasporan community. Moderated by Ph.D. candidate Li Sumpter, whose research interests converge at the crossroads of art and science, nature and technology, and the archetypal patterns emerging on the visual surface of contemporary culture. Come learn about the conception of a/wake in the water and talk about pressing environmental issues.

Nicholas Powers
Nicholas Powers is a poet, journalist and professor. His first book, Theater of War, was published by Upset Press. He has written for The Indypendent, Alternet and The Village Voice. He teaches literature at SUNY Old Westbury and co-hosts the long running New York City College Poetry Slam at the Nuyorican Cafe.


Lorraine Currelley
Lorraine Currelley is a poet, writer, educator and mental health counselor. She is the Founder/Executive Director of Poets Network & Exchange, a safe, positive and supportive venue for poets and writers at all levels, where she facilitates poetry and creative writing workshops, produces featured poetry readings and a Scholar Lecture Series.

"and i am sitting in my gentrified apartment in brooklyn
in my gentrified skin writing poetry with big words that i learned in private school like
‘white supremacy’ which means that i could you tell about how there
is a long history of white people painting themselves black
but i am looking at a photo of myself from
when i was eight or nine and put on martin luther king
used the black struggle to legitimize my difference
to my white peers growing up
which feels like its own form of
blackface”
   -from “Bring in Brown to Keep Black Down” by Alok Vaid-Menon

After some playfully bitter banter about anti-blackness in brown communities last Friday night at La Mama theatre, alok launched into their poem “Bring in Brown to Keep Black Down” in what was a rare call for the brown community to question the concept of the “model minority”: narratives that praise one minority over another while ignoring differing structural realities across communities, particularly in the US. alok, along with their performance partner janani, makes up one half of the trans south asian art and activist spoken word duo DARKMATTER, which headlined the Queer New York International Arts Festival (QNYIAF) “Duos” series. The duo’s work often explores issues of gender, race, movement building, and social justice with a large dose of humor. DARKMATTER is currently on tour and will be back in NYC on October 19th at the prestigious Bowery Poetry Club.

Learn more: http://darkmatterrage.com/
tumblr: darkmatterrage
twitter: @darkmatterrage

"and i am sitting in my gentrified apartment in brooklyn

in my gentrified skin writing poetry with big words that i learned in private school like

‘white supremacy’ which means that i could you tell about how there

is a long history of white people painting themselves black

but i am looking at a photo of myself from

when i was eight or nine and put on martin luther king

used the black struggle to legitimize my difference

to my white peers growing up

which feels like its own form of

blackface”

-from “Bring in Brown to Keep Black Down” by Alok Vaid-Menon

After some playfully bitter banter about anti-blackness in brown communities last Friday night at La Mama theatre, alok launched into their poem “Bring in Brown to Keep Black Down” in what was a rare call for the brown community to question the concept of the “model minority”: narratives that praise one minority over another while ignoring differing structural realities across communities, particularly in the US. alok, along with their performance partner janani, makes up one half of the trans south asian art and activist spoken word duo DARKMATTER, which headlined the Queer New York International Arts Festival (QNYIAF) “Duos” series. The duo’s work often explores issues of gender, race, movement building, and social justice with a large dose of humor. DARKMATTER is currently on tour and will be back in NYC on October 19th at the prestigious Bowery Poetry Club.

Learn more: http://darkmatterrage.com/

tumblr: darkmatterrage

twitter: @darkmatterrage

Soundtrack ‘63October 3 & 4 | 7:30PM
Tishman Auditorium at The New School 66 W 12th St. New York, NY 10011
Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/SdtrkTIX
Be a part of the revolution! Soundtrack ‘63 features a host of amazing artists who breathe new life into the sights and sounds that shaped the music of an era. Celebrate the peak of the civil rights movement and re-live musical classics that were popular prior to, during, and following the revoluntary year 1963 with new arrangements. Let the music carry you away as we transport you back in time with a live video installation that will immerse your senses and make you re-think, re-new, and re-mix the power of an era.

Soundtrack ‘63
October 3 & 4 | 7:30PM

Tishman Auditorium at The New School 
66 W 12th St. New York, NY 10011

Buy Tickets: http://bit.ly/SdtrkTIX

Be a part of the revolution! Soundtrack ‘63 features a host of amazing artists who breathe new life into the sights and sounds that shaped the music of an era. Celebrate the peak of the civil rights movement and re-live musical classics that were popular prior to, during, and following the revoluntary year 1963 with new arrangements. Let the music carry you away as we transport you back in time with a live video installation that will immerse your senses and make you re-think, re-new, and re-mix the power of an era.