RomePARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Fractals and Fragments
Kim Dacres, Kenturah Davis, Basil Kincaid, Nate Lewis, David Shrobe, Kennedy Yanko
curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah
Galleria Anna Marra presents PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Fractals and Fragments curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah. The exhibition is the fourth iteration in a series – the first outside the United States – that investigates how visual artists cultivate their artistic practices by responding to ideas, narratives, myths, and materials, and highlights the works of six African American artists living and working in the United States: sculptures by Kim Dacres and Kennedy Yanko in addition to paintings, works on paper, and photo collages by David Shrobe, Kenturah Davis, Nate Lewis, and Basil Kincaid.
PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Fractals and Fragments utilizes the mathematical concept of fractals to deeply explore what is seen on and beneath the surface. The use of this conceptual framework highlights the intricacy and nuances present within the shared history of Black aesthetics and Diasporic community. Moreover, it illustrates that although these artists might have somewhat similar experiences on the surface, upon closer interrogation, all of these artists possess voices and perspectives that are immensely varied and encompass a multiplicity of differences.
PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Fractals and Fragments will provoke a stimulating discourse around the ideas of race, identity, materiality, and memory in a way that is rarely seen in this part of the world. As the capital, Rome is an ideal vantage point to further explore the themes of the series with the goal of leveraging the capacity of artists and artistic dialogue to illuminate the shifts in the power dynamics between the “center” and “periphery.”
The featured artists explore themes of empathy, culture, environment, and understanding of self and others in the world. The need for a discursive artistic engagement through this exhibition seeks to forefront our shared human experience in a climate that is increasingly urgent with the rise of nationalist, racist, xenophobic. In a time where Italy in particular is struggling to respond to global issues affecting them locally, such as the refugee crisis, the collateral damage associated with COVID-19, and migration to name a few, Fractals and Fragments moves the public to connect with the sense of humanity within one another and themselves. The crux of this exhibition endeavors to study the complexity of these issues from the perspective of African American artists within a rubric that at times is perceived as aesthetically and culturally homogeneous. By highlighting that diversity of thought, points of view and artistic approach from these artists are what makes the African American diaspora unique, PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Fractals and Fragments will present an expanded view of contemporary art and the cultural zeitgeist.
The inaugural edition of PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES took place in Miami Beach at Oolite Arts in the fall of 2018 and presented works by eight women artists whose dynamic practices reframe and redefine how artmaking fits into a broader global discourse impacting marginalized communities. The second edition was exhibited in Detroit at MOCAD in 2019. It focused on the roles that art, technology and science play in the creation of the work of artists. The third iteration of the series, took place at VisArts in Rockville, MD during the Fall of 2019, and sought to explore how emigrant and first-generation immigrant artists are using their work to negotiate issues of migration, mobility, identity, visibility and invisibility in a time of social volatility.
Courtesy of the artists and Galleria Anna Marra, Rome. Photo: VL9 Photography