Lawless Innovation by a Timeless Generation
Activate: Market Street 11
Alex Scott Cumming
In collaboration with Ngu Asongwed and Jasmine Mans
February 11th – April 1st, 2017
Opening Reception February 11th 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro
Jasmine Mans is an artist…an artist who enjoys having various forums to express her thoughts, moods, opinions and a voice to speak out on behalf of others and the community around her. A recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2014), Jasmine received her BA in African-American Studies (Black Theory & Literature) and is the recipient of the Star Ledger – NJPAC; Arts Millennia; and (New York) Knicks Poetry Slam Scholarships and awards. However, Mans began stringing rhymes together as a middle-school student in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Those artistic skills were honed while attending the first performing arts high school in the nation, Newark Arts High School.
Lawless Innovation for a Timeless Generation is a collaborative exhibition between Alex Scott Cumming, Jasmine Mans, and Ngu Asongwed for Gallery Aferro’s Activate: Market Street 11. The exhibition includes “67BRXSQAD”, Ngu Asongwed’s ongoing video journal within the first installation. Its footage of Newark, some shot by Asongwed himself and other artists, is presented within a “living room”. Locations in the footage, playing in a continuous loop, are familiar to viewers. This contrast of sculpture and film act as the “memory of the present” written of by Paolo Virno in Déjà Vu and the End of History and a “historical a priori” of Michel Foucault in Archaeology of Knowledge. The words of Jasmine Mans, a poet, are presented in the second installation by banners and shapes. Banners and shapes meet text to address our ability to speak and define experience as individuals and communities. The final installation is a structure resemblant of Pennsylvanian coal mine tipples as photographed by Bernd and Hilla Becher. The structure is built replicating the seemingly spontaneous construction of these tipples, some built by miners for mines abandoned during the Great Depression. In addition to the structure, this installation includes New Jersey state law books. As a whole, Activate: Market Street 11 presents interpretations of memory, language, labor, and law in poetry, sculpture, and video.