Figgeo Contemporary: Pinder
The Figgeo Video & Film series returns this spring with Figgeo Contemporary: Pinder featuring five recent works by Chicago and Washington, DC, artist Jefferson Pinder. Pinder explores themes of black identity, social struggle and the human condition through an interdisciplinary mix of music video and physical theater. Both familiar and unexpected, Pinder’s striking compositions actively engage the viewer with the directness of the actors’ gazes, hypnotic beats and, at times, intense physical movement.
Pinder’s work has been featured in numerous group shows, including exhibitions at The Studio Museum, Harlem, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, The High Museum, Atlanta, the Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland and the Figge Art Museum.
At 7 pm on Thursday, June 11, artist Jefferson Pinder will be at the Figge to speak about his video series, as well as upcoming projects.
4 p.m. daily • 4 and 6 p.m. Thursdays, through June 28
Dark Matter, 2014
Under the harsh raking glare of emergency police lights, black clad break dancers perform a series of movements and interactions exploring recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. In this work, B-boys physically reference the events of August 9, 2014: the shooting of an unarmed teen and the ensuing riots. Featuring the music of Lionz of Zion.
10:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. daily, through May 10
Afro-Cosmonaut/Alien (White Noise), 2008
An escapist video narrative that ends in destruction when its Icarus-inspired protagonist plummets back to Earth after a mystical space journey. Utilizing time-lapse animation, White Noise consists of more than 2,000 photographs; each frame an individual pose. Pinder’s white-faced Butoh-inspired performance and audio excerpts of Gil Scott-Heron’s powerful poem, “Whitey on the Moon,” serves as a crude metaphor of the civil rights legacy.
Pedestrians and passersby join together to move a seemingly immobile vehicle. Part of the artist’s Inertia Cycle series, physical labor acts as an abstract metaphor for social struggle.
10:30 to 3:50 p.m. daily, May 12-June 8
Elevator Music, 2012
The video pairs the formal elements of changing visual textures in relationship to the ‘dead pan’ expression of the performer. The intimate portrait captures a Chicago building superintendent in a confined space, forcing a dialog between the performer and the viewer.
Using the act of running as a metaphor for labor in their personal journeys from Africa to America, the grinding nature of the performance conveys the quiet heroics of a Somali-American immigrant community.