Rashid Johnson confronts the idea of the "black identity" in his art. Recognizing the logical fallacy inherent in the idea that there could be a singular ID for a nation of people, Johnson tries on multiple variations of the black identity from days past. His Triple Consciousness
is a stylized altar to singer Al Green in the form of his 1975 greatest-hits album, appearing in triplicate. Johnson further dips into the signals of the past with The Unwearable Dashiki
, an abstract pattern created by chicken bones exposed on photosensitive paper. In photographs, paintings, installations and videos, Johnson pays homage to those black icons who represented their era -- Jack Johnson and Sun Ra -- while also poking fun at the futility of trying to be everything to all people. Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks
opens Friday, September 20, at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on Washington University's campus (1 Brookings Drive; 314-935-4523 or kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu
). Message to Our Folks
remains on display through Monday, January 6, 2014; the gallery is open Wednesday through Monday. Admission is free.
Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 20. Continues through Jan. 6, 2013