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Michael Jevon Demps

Ludic Field/Lucid Fold

curated by Kenny Rivero

January 31 - February 23, 2019
Closing reception: Fri., February 22, 6-8PM


Blackburn 20|20 is pleased to announce, Ludic Field/Lucid Fold, a solo exhibition of monoprints by Michael Jevon Demps. Demps is a multidisciplinary artist whose work questions his/our bodies in relationship to power and oppressive social structures while creating conditions, in space and time, that critically engage with communities as audience and collaborator. He aims to create circumstances that encourage seeking and sharing experiential knowledge in order to empower attempts that facilitate the navigation of a constantly shifting social, political, intimate, and spiritual world.  

At a glance, it’s simple to describe Demp’s creative life as being various. With multiple practices that range from being a music producer, an instrumentalist, a vocalist, an athlete, a printmaker, a sculptor, and a painter, you can reduce a reading of his practice(s) one step further and argue that his steadfast commitments are to being a musician and a visual artist. You would still be wrong. Demps is on a search to unname: to intentionally manifest and define the connectivity between objects, ideas, and experiences while uprooting their integrity in order to experience their transformative capacities, and in essence, their unison.

As a deeply empathic maker, Demps’ efforts in the studio, and in the world, rely on a sensibility that is constantly recalibrating to the currents and frequencies that inform how we travel through space and experience the world. Jenn Joy writes:

Walk carefully in the darkness these are precarious terrains. A candle burns,  wind chimes echo harsh metallic, air surges and recedes, rendering the invisible of the visible through sensate gradient. Untethering representation from vision, Michael Demps’ work translates breath into wind, water into noise, trespassing along the dangerous edges of caricature to reveal an ongoing repetition of trauma. Never singular, the objects-candles cast from a racist trinket, bottles of chocolate milk, magnetic marbles, Motown refrains-interrogate substance to ask something of subjectivity and the complicity of address. Bound, cast, overturned, these indices of identity and history conjure a trajectory where violence remains intimately urgently present.



Michael Jevon Demps was born in 1976 in Detroit Michigan. He received an MFA from Yale in 2017, and a BFA from CalArts in 2015. Demps has attended prestigious residencies such as Skowhegan, The Fountainhead Residency in Miami, and most recently, Reading Zimbabwe Residency, in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he collaborated with Wes Taylor, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, and Tinashe Mushakavanhu on a series of seminars and sound performances that focused on pancultural connectivity and exchange in Johannesburg, South Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His work has been exhibited nationally and abroad, and was included in the 2017 exhibition “Fictions” at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

UPCOMING

if the wind blows

Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant Accident

March 7 - April 13, 2019

Under the Sky  2015 Yasuyo Tanaka

Under the Sky 2015 Yasuyo Tanaka

Babbie Dunnington

Sto Len

Marie Lorenz

Matsuzawa Yutaka

Yasuyo Tanaka









EVENTS

Thurs. March 7, 6-8PM: Opening + Curator walk-through
Sat. March 9, 2-4PM: Svasti Prayer and Meditation for Peace
Tues. March 12, 7PM: FILM SCREENING REGRET by Tetsuhei Ikumaki talk with Yasuyo Tanaka from Fukushima
Sun. March 17, 2PM: MELTDOWN a series of Experimental Japanese Films
Sat. March 30, 2PM: FILM SCREENING We are the Guinea Pigs Dir. Joan Harvey
Sat. March 30, 4PM: A REPORT BACK from THREE MILE ISLAND 40-Year Anniversary with Hiroko Aihara, Kyoko Sato and Yasuyo Tanaka
Tues. April 9, 7PM: FILM SCREENING EXPOSURE TO RADIATION POST-X Years followed by a discussion
Thurs. April 11, 7PM: FILM SCREENING EXPOSURE TO RADIATION POST-X Years 2  followed by a discussion

This year 2019 is the 40th anniversary of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It was the worst nuclear disaster in the history of the United States. This accident on March 28, 1979 triggered the nuclear abolition movement. On June 12, 1982, one million people demonstrated in New York City's Central Park against nuclear weapons and for an end to the Cold War. It became the largest anti-nuclear protest and political demonstration in U.S. history.

The Three Mile Island nuclear plant will shut down in 2019. The Indian Point nuclear power plant closest to New York City, could be shut down by 2021. Although the times have been changing and shifting to natural energy, we face new problems of nuclear waste disposal and storage. There is also high radiation dose in New York, invisible radiation damage is not over yet.

Through the anniversary of nuclear accident at Three Mile Island and Fukushima, the exhibition if the wind blows hopes to learns from past disasters, to think about the current environmental problems, and to discuss what we can do for the future. One of the purpose is to connect for the next action with this as a foothold.

All disasters change human values and consciousness. It purpose to create opportunities for people to meet and learn from each other, and to blow the wind of change in ourselves and our society.

Heiwa Peace & Reconciliation Foundation of New York Ltd

Heiwa Peace & Reconciliation Foundation of New York Ltd