Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax
26 September - 14 November 2020
The FLAG Art Foundation
545 West 25th Street, 9th Floor,
New York, NY 10001
Ben Brown Fine Arts is pleased to present Mystic Parallax, a solo exhibition by multi-disciplinary artist Awol Erizku, on view September 26 - November 14, 2020, on its 9th floor. Erizku engages an Afrocentric perspective to a new body of photo-based works, sculpture, drawings made from incense smoke and ash, and a series of short films, which act as a counter-narrative to the historically westernized discourse on African and African American culture.
Central to the new works are signifiers rooted in Trap music and Islam that employ contronyms as a visual and linguistic device to explore new dimensions in the evolving lexicon on objects, music, and prose. Throughout the exhibition, Erizku combines expropriated and commodified Aethiopean artifacts, contemporary African American iconography, and references to photography, media, and image creation. Fire, both as a medium and symbolic, Benu-like element, serves as a catalyst for metamorphosis and transfiguration, creating a space for historical interventions, and rejuvenating fossilized concepts and visual language.
The title Mystic Parallax suggests alternative readings and cross-cultural perspectives from multiple vantage points, inviting viewers to participate in an open-ended investigation into a constellation of ideas. The exhibition aims to construct a new paradigm; a break from master narratives and Eurocentric intellectual gate-keepers; the treatment of Africa as a monolith; mythopoeia; post-structuralism; culture as commodity; and impact of language on the construction of meaning.