What happens if February never ends?
february is a digital collage series by Lorenzo Baker that expands and explores the definitions of Black History. Looking at history from a unique vantage point, the daily project offers viewers insight into what is commonly known as Black History Month.
The push for celebrating Black History Month began in the 1920s, with the work of Historian Carter G. Woodson, who proposed in 1926 that, "It is not so much a Negro History Week as it is a History Week. We should emphasise not Negro History, but the Negro in History. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hatred and religious prejudice". Motivated by the achievements Carter. G Woodson, february extends the argument that the achievements, moments, and record of Black people should be commemorated well beyond the standardized 28/29-day long window.
Sourcing from the principles of Afrofuturism, which override western approaches to time, space, and meaning, february began by addressing the question “what happens if February never ends?” Utilizing historical photographs, documents, illustrations, and images sourced from the internet, the artworks bend the viewers understanding of what is worth historizing. As a daily meditation on Black History, each artwork blends and incorporates new or obscure information and data into depictions of well-known and unfamiliar icons within the black historical cosmos.
Video Still, Glass Tower, Tania Zaidi, 2020
“A Tourist In Your Own Home” is an online exhibition curated by artist Shasha Dothan.
Along with five artists Dothan invited, who are also immigrants to the United States,
they created video works about their 2020 experience. This exhibition looks at each
immigrant’s struggle and the notion of home. Is the new country you live in your home?
Is the country you were born in your home? Being confined at home for the last year
due to Covid 19, immigrant artists may struggle even more with the questions of displacement.
Many questions about home and feeling like you don’t belong become more difficult.
In this online video exhibition, the selected artists will represent different facets of immigrating to the US. Each artist comes from a different country and culture. Each has their own story. What they all have in common is living in the US in 2020, trying to build a future for themselves. The show will ask, will you become a tourist in the land you were born? And also, are you at home in the land you now live in? Finally, is the realm of art an alternative home for immigrants?
The artists Jisoo Chung, Marton Robinson, Shirin Bolourchi and Ali Azhari, Tania Zaidi and Shasha Dothan choose to look at this time in a different way, with a different perspective and in a different language. All these stories are connected to an individual experience but share a universal feeling of being lost in translation.
MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. Go to: www.mcla.edu for gallery hours & more information or call 413-662-5324.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens. For more information, go to www.mcla.edu.