July 20, 2017
Rashaad Newsome named Artist-in-Residence for DLECTRICITY
Newsome will work in Detroit over the summer engaging local communities and preparing for a parade, a video installation at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and a performance at the Detroit Film Theater.
July 18, 2017 – HYPHEN, an artist management firm, and Midtown Detroit Inc., a nonprofit urban planning agency charged with the revitalization of Detroit’s Midtown District, are pleased to announce that Rashaad Newsome has been named artist-in-residence for DLECTRICITY, a night-time festival of light-based art and technology held in Detroit on September 22-23, 2017 presented by DTE ENERGY Foundation. During the festival, founded in 2012, local and international artists illuminate the streets and historic architecture of Midtown. Rashaad Newsome, the 2017 lead artist, will present King of Arms Parade, his iconic mass processional performance commissioned for the occasion. On Friday, September 22nd at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Newsome’s King of Arms launches with the premiere of a large-scale, site-specific video projection. The procession of hundreds of local participants moves from the museum onto the city streets.
Concurrent with the festival, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, theMuseum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History are collaborating on exhibition programming as part of a community-wide remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion of July 1967. Special projects by Martin Creed and Pope L. will also be on view.
Connecting diverse local communities, King of Arms will enliven the streets of Midtown in the tradition of a second line brass band. Acknowledging Detroit’s integral connection to music, the parade will be led by the storied Cass Technical High School Marching Band and the Gabriel Brass Band. The procession will feature the Miami Bike Life motorcycle crew; members of the Detroit Vogue scene; Newsome’s NYC troop the Vogue Knights; Philadelphia LGBTQ rapper Kevin JZ Prodigy; the Detroit East Side Riders; and a King of Arms float, a customized Ford F150 truck wrapped in the artist’s imagery. Drawn to the city’s history and exciting future the artist remarked, “Detroit is a place that I find incredibly inspiring, it is a privilege to be invited to work in the city and partner with its community. Over time, the city has both prospered and suffered making it a poignant and challenging place to conduct the King of Arms mass processional performance and Shade Composition. At the core of these projects is my interest in highlighting performance practices and communities that I feel connected to personally while giving those who often feel silenced, a voice.”
Throughout the summer Newsome will be working in Detroit casting local performers and staging rehearsals for Shade Composition, the artist’s critically acclaimed performance artwork which concludes the DLECTRICITY festival at 8 p.m. on September 23rd at the Detroit Film Theaterlocated within the Detroit Institute of Arts. In this signature performance, the artist is both conductor and vocal choreographer leading an ensemble of locally cast self-identifying Black female performers whose individual voices and gestures are synthesized to form improvisatory orchestral music collaged with live video and audio mixed using hacked video game controllers. Costumes for the performers will be designed by Rick Owens.
Rashaad Newsome (b.1979) is known for his multi-faceted, visually dynamic projects utilizing dance, music, fashion, history, and technology. Engaging diverse and marginalized groups, the artist’s work explores the complexities of social power structures and questions of agency. Newsome has exhibited and performed in galleries, museums, institutions, and festivals worldwide, most notably at The Studio Museum in Harlem; The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C.; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum; MoMAPS1, New York; SFMOMA; New Orleans Museum of Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow; and Museum Startgalerie Arothek, Vienna.
Newsome’s work is in numerous public collections including the Studio Museum Harlem; The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Brooklyn Museum of Art; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and The New Britain Museum of American Art. Newsome participated in the MoMA PS1 exhibition Greater New York (2011), and the Whitney Biennial (2010). Newsome’s honors and awards include the Rush Arts Gold Rush Award (2017), the Headlands Center for the Arts Visiting Artist Residency (2014), the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2011), an Urban Artist Initiative Individual Artist Grant (2010), and a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Arts Grant (2009). In 2014 Newsome was a Woodward Lecturer at the College for Creative Studies, Detroit.
Rashaad Newsome’s participation in DLECTRICITY has been made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Rashaad Newsome was proposed as the 2017 DLECTRICITY artist-in-residence by HYPHEN, an artist management firm founded by Andrea Glimcher. HYPHEN is an advisor and advocate for artists, estates, and institutions.
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