Red Hills of Lardossa derives its title from the closing track of Drexciya’s 1994 double vinyl release Drexciya 4: The Unknown Aquazone – Double Aquapack (Detroit: Submerge, 1994. 2x vinyl, 12”, 33 ⅓ RPM). Fantasizing electro music’s infiltration of transatlantic communication streams that echo the passages and conjectural return of the black diaspora, the then-anonymous, Detroit-based duo Drexciya dedicated its liner sleeve notes to speculations about the existence of a race of sea creatures mutated from pregnant African slaves thrown overboard during passage to the Americas. The exhibition comprehends the origins of electro music as a riposte to the decimated living wages and reprobate municipal infrastructure of post-fordist, post-race riots Detroit—taking as its point of departure a will to the remastery of machines sensitized to the continued, technologically-mediated oppression of black bodies.
Synthesizing black diasporic artistic production and conjectural posthuman identities, the works on view manifest aesthetic engagements spanning transoceanic mythologies and techno-organic hybridity anchored by recombinatory compositional logics. Whereas Drexciya’s genus of afrofuturism exalted in musical escapism and the mystical originary locus of an identity formation inflected more by a nebulous mutation than the immanent experience of black embodiment, the exhibition evacuates hierarchies between a pelagic metaphysics and the groundedness of vernacular realities. Instead, noirish atmospherics, mosaiced recuperations of canvas debris, postal scales, secret objects, pigment prints, sousveillance/surveillance anxieties, anecdotes and idle smoking inscribe a feminized repressing of both land-based consciousness and ciphered communications.
Tau Lewis (b. 1993, Toronto; lives and works in Toronto, Canada). Solo and two-person exhibitions: Copper Cole Gallery, Toronto; 8-11 Gallery, Toronto; The Pendulum Project at Studio 223a, Toronto. Recent group exhibitions include: New Museum, New York; Night Gallery, Los Angeles; Sleep Center, New York; Galleri Tom Christoffersen, Copenhagen; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Cooper Cole, Toronto; Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; 116 Geary Ave, Toronto.
Erin Jane Nelson (b. 1989; lives and works in Atlanta, GA) gained her BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art, New York, and completed studies at The Malmö Art Academy, Malmö. Solo exhibitions: Document, Chicago; Hester, New York; Important Projects, Oakland. Selected group exhibitions: Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago; The Stable, Waregem, Belgium; Ashes/Ashes, Los Angeles; ATLBNL at Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta; Suprainfinit, Bucharest; Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; Galerie Division, Montreal; Springsteen Gallery, Baltimore; Centre for Style, Melbourne; Favorite Goods, Los Angeles; Ellis King, Dublin; Bureau, New York; Bad Reputation, Los Angeles; City Limits, Oakland; Mission Comics and Art, San Francisco; 321 Gallery, Brooklyn; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Et Al at The Lab, San Francisco; Jancar Jones; Los Angeles.
Sojourner Truth Parsons (b. 1984, Vancouver; lives and works in Los Angeles) gained her BFA at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Halifax. Solo exhibitions: Oakville Galleries, Toronto; Tomorrow Gallery, New York; Night Gallery, Los Angeles; Phil Gallery, Los Angeles; Mulherin, New York; Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto; 161 Gallon Gallery, Halifax; Seeds Gallery, Halifax; Eyelevel Gallery, Halifax. Recent group exhibitions: 11R, New York; Foxy Production, New York; Galerie Sultana, Paris; 4619, Los Angeles; Cooper Cole, Toronto; Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto; Night Gallery with Know More Games, New York.