Alter-Destiny 888, Three-week durational performance-installation, The LAB at Roger Smith Hotel, NY, 08.08.08
A Being moves within an Afri-sci-fi environment, a living portrait of remixed iconographies. Magic- and hyper-realism explore states of longing, the desire for escape, and methodologies of freedom informed by post-colonialism and challenges in the development of new hybrid identities based on reconfigured concepts of self- and nation-hood.
Mystic-musician Sun Ra said, “I am the Alter-Destiny, the presence of the living myth”; music is method, fuel, pathway to other states of being and universes. The Being’s songs are experimental, abstract, alien, rooted in the tones of jazz and opera, volumetric. She sings to herself, to the audience, to the alien plants, to the planet, as a repellent yet seductive guide in an environment carefully layered in symbols.
Dripping West African indigo print and gold-painted columns and 3D orange swirl vortex shape a space of ritual activation. The heavy garment worn/carried by the Being has ends encrusted with clay fibroid “stones.” It is a skin weighted with history, with the bodies of what might have been, psychic and cellular remnants of trauma, reflecting depths of life/sea/space, soil/oil, Black motherhood, Persephone/ psyche/legacy. Gold is ascension and abundance, infinity as represented by the title’s lucky number 888, date of the exhibition’s opening. Sun Ra asks, “Are YOU ready to alter your destiny?”