About this event
January 21st- Artist Conversation with Nyugen E. Smith and Jeffereson Pinder
Performance will be followed by an artist talk with Nyugen E Smith and Jefferson Pinder, an African-American interdisciplinary artist known for his work that provokes commentary about race and struggle. Nyugen E Smith is an SAIC alum and Jefferson Pinder is part of the faculty at SAIC, facilitated by CulturalDC’s Executive Director and Curator, Kristi Maiselman.
Location: CulturalDC’s Source Theatre, 1835 14th St NW, Washington, D.C.
Doors open at 7 PM
Free and open to the public, donation of $25 for a reserved seat
This performance created for the stage, is adapted from a portion of my original short story titled, While You Sleep. The story was inspired by a statement from Barbadian poet, Kamau Brathwaite who spoke of the need for a ritual to keep the souls of the millions of enslaved Africans who perished during the transatlantic journey from coming back to haunt us. Within this story and performance, Jouvay is positioned as the annual seance which keeps this haunting at bay.
The story takes place during Carnival season somewhere in the Caribbean. The main character, Ele, a young poet, has surreal nightmares every year during this season. The closer it gets to Jouvay (J’ouvert), or the unofficial start of Carnival, which takes place on the Monday before Ash Wednesday, the spirit of the ancestors in the dreams become less troubled. Though each dream is full of symbols and meanings that are somewhat recognizable, Ele seeks insight from elders in the community to find meaning of their dreams, land’s history, and themselves. created during Nyugen’s stay in Washington, DC.
Nyugen E. Smith is a Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist based in Jersey City, NJ. Through performance, found object sculpture, mixed media drawing, painting, video, photo, and writing, Smith deepens his knowledge of the historical and present-day conditions of Black African descendants in the diaspora. Trauma, spiritual practices, language, violence, memory, architecture, landscape, and climate change are primary concerns in his practice.
She has performed at the Venice Biennale, Art Basel Miami, ChaleWote (Ghana), El Museo del Barrio, Fendika (Ethiopia), FIAP (Martinique), Queens Museum, the Smithsonian’s and more. Her light monuments memorializing Black womxn exhibited at the August Wilson Center and National Gallery of Art. In 2019 she was on the front cover of the Washington City Paper’s People Issue. She recently curated a group show with Washington Project for the Arts in DC titled Black Women as/and the Living Archive and is publishing an exhibition book.