Featuring Sanford Biggers, Lorraine o'Grady and RoseLee Goldberg
Tuesday evening I was fortunate enough to attend another event at MoMA, courtesy of the wildly talented and supremely gracious, Ms. Aisha Cousins. In addition to nurturing a substantial artistic practice through performance, she is of the gainfully employed- spending a full-time work week in the education department at MoMA. As I create my own manner of art education, I have discovered the importance of establishing and maintaining these communal relationships with fellow artists, as well as the inspirational force of artist talks and moderated dialogues.
This event was sponsored in huge part by The Friends of Education. The Friends of Education is an affiliate group of the Museum of Modern Art. It's mission is to foster a greater appreciation of art created by African-American (Black) Artists and to encourage African-American (Black) participation in the activities and membership of MoMA.
Moderated by RoseLee Goldberg (founder and director of PERFORMA), the evening's talk featured Lorraine O'Grady and Sanford Biggers, both of whom use performance to initiate political-social-cultural-historical dialogues. It was a savvy pairing, as each served as an appropriate foil for the other. Ms. Grady spoke about the unconventional timing of her evolution as artist (she began her performance career at age 45), while Mr. Biggers related his own precocious beginnings at 15 years old. Ultimately, though it was the similarities between the two that captured my attention. Both seem to approach art making unfettered by medium or genre, and pursued layered conceptual themes with individual flair. A scholar of literature and a writer herself, Ms. O'Grady emphasized a return to language as art material at this particular moment of global platforms connected by the internet. Mr. Biggers spoke of the evolution of abstraction within his own 'making', and the use of archetypes as a language to speak conceptually.
I am inspired to use narcissism healthily and explore the Venn Diagram of overlapping media.