New Art Lab Installation “Puff” Inspired by First Anthology of African American Literature

November 7, 2022

A new window installation is on display now through December 9 at MCLA’s Art Lab in North Adams by artist Lorenzo Baker.  

Drifting beyond the screen and into space, the atmospheric installation “Puff” coincides with Baker’s virtual exhibition and year-long collaboration with MCLA titled “February: An Exploration into Black History,” which transverses representations of Black History and technology. 

The installation “Puff” draws inspiration from the first Anthology of African American Literature, Les Cenelles: Choix de poésies indigènes. Published in 1845, the anthology is a collection of French lyric poems written by a group of free Black poets living in New Orleans, LA. Baker’s multimedia installation is an airy and melodic take on the Black romantic experience, connecting with the Anthologies' use of depoliticized themes of fantasy, longing, and harmony. 

Utilizing para fiction and para facts to complicate ideas of collective memory, Baker’s multidisciplinary art practice takes shape as afro-futuristic digital collages, ready-made sculptures, and experimental videos. In 2021 Baker was a guest speaker at the Museum of African Diaspora (MOAD) in the Artist Studio program, and in 2022 their work was featured on the television series Bel Air. 

The Design Lab is located at 49 Main Street in North Adams. 

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