August 1, 2017

Jasmine Murrell–an Artist to Follow Right Now!

Jasmine Murrell is coming to Dlectricity 2017, and she is definitely someone to keep your eye on right now. A native Detroiter, Murrell participated in a group show at Detroit Artists Market in January of this year. In February, she was named one of Time’s “12 African American Photographers to Follow Right Now.” In March, she participated in New York’s all-woman “Whitney Houston Biennial,” a salon-style show that is an alternative to the Whitney Biennial and contemporary art survey shows that overwhelmingly represent male artists. Murrell currently has work on view in the Bronx Museum’s “Bronx Calling: The Fourth AIM Biennial.”

“Ancient Future,” one of the works Murrell is bringing to Dlectricity 2017, is inspired by the indestructible spirit of the black body despite trauma, subjugation and historical erasure. Shedding a light on ancient hair forms through contemporary light-activated headdresses, the pieces will be used during scheduled performances and then viewers will have the chance to try the headdresses on themselves.

“Immortal Uterus,” Murrell’s other work, takes its name and inspiration from the story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American sharecropper whose cervical cancer cells were stolen and used for research that led to the first polio vaccine and countless other medical breakthroughs. Her cells created a multibillion dollar industry and saved millions of lives, yet she and her family received no compensation or recognition.

A vast sculpture made of yards of nameless VHS film, “Immortal Uterus” is intended to replicate both the anonymity and scale of the contributions Lacks made to modern medicine. The anonymous, massive black womb envelops viewers up entry as if passing into another world. A sound is emitted inside the installation, created to constantly multiply and crescendo to infinity, just like Lacks’ cells.

Murrell’s work will be on display at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art. Thanks so much to the N’Namdi Center for hosting this awesome project!

Check out a questionnaire with Jasmine Murrell here