Exhibition on view: Thu, Sept. 22, 2022 - Sun, Jan. 8, 2023
Featuring new work by 2021-22 BRIClab: Contemporary Artist Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo, Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle brings together past and present notions of revolution, liberation, and land sovereignty. With painted and collaged images based on early twentieth-century colonial photography taken in West Africa and the Caribbean, Adeyemo reaches into the past to envision alternative futures.
Adeyemo understands the act of painting, cutting, and pasting as an opportunity to restructure Black and Indigenous relationships to land and labor. Responding to increasingly corporatized food systems and to the ongoing exploitation of ancestral lands, her works on paper offer moments of collective resistance and restoration. Adeyemo honors the wisdom of the natural world and the long Indigenous history of communal farming, herbalist practices, and labor through careful illustrations of cacao, ginger root, collards, okra, bananas, aloe vera, kalanchoe pinnata, maize, and moringa. Men, women, and children wield daggers, machetes, and rifles, symbols of resistance and their care for one another. These scenes often extend past the picture plane, inviting viewers to consider what it means to be fierce yet gentle, to reconnect the land and body, and to exist between past and present. Restoring these ancestral practices through archival visions is, in the artist’s words, “an exercise in Black fugitivity, tenderness, and collectivity” and a meditation on what once was and what could be.
Further Reading and Watching
L.A. Rebellion | Daydream Therapy (1977)
- Daydream Therapy is set to Nina Simone's haunting rendition of "Pirate Jenny" and concludes with Archie Shepp's "Things Have Got to Change." An early student work directed at UCLA by Bernard Nicolas and submitted as his "Project One."
The Coconut Revolution (2001)
- This is the modern-day story of a native peoples' remarkable victory over Western Colonial power. A Pacific island rose up in arms against giant mining corporation Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ), and won despite a military occupation and blockade.
Edited by Hanna Garth and Ashanté M. Reese, Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food Justice (2020)
- Black Food Matters analyzes how Blackness is contested through food, differing ideas of what makes our sustenance “healthy,” and Black individuals’ own beliefs about what their cuisine should be. This comprehensive look at Black food culture and the various forms of violence that threaten the future of this cuisine centers Blackness in a field that has too often framed Black issues through a white-centric lens, offering new ways to think about access, privilege, equity, and justice.
Curated by BRIC Curatorial Associate Maria McCarthy, Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle is Adeyemo’s first solo exhibition.
Photo credit: Sebastian Bach
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo-Ross_Headshot-full_ resized.jpg
Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo (she/they) is a 2021-22 BRIClab: Contemporary Art resident. Adeyemo was also an artist-in-residence at Lazuli Residency and at the New York Academy of Art. Her work has been shown at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY; Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Davis, CA; and Office & Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. She is a second-round finalist for The Bennett Prize. Adeyemo received her BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design.
The Project Room, located adjacent to the Gallery in BRIC House is an added resource for video work, BRIC's emerging curator program, small-scale exhibitions and experimental curatorial projects.
Beginning Nov. 1, 2022, attendees of any BRIC House programming will no longer have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter the building. Masks are encouraged but not required in all BRIC operated spaces. If you have questions regarding this protocol, please email Safety@bricartsmedia.org