afrofuturism exhibit explores the heart of black escapism through sci-fi

April 10, 2018
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Opening this month at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago is In Their Own Form, a multi-media exhibition on the Afro-diasporic experience the explores themes of escapism, nostalgia, and time-travel through the lens of Afrofuturism. Curated by Sheridan Tucker, the exhibition features works by Senegal artist Alun Be from his Edification series, a photography project that sees black children in capes and VR goggles, conjuring up a world where hi-tech is as commonplace in African nations outside of the fictional Wakanda. South African artist Mary Sibande, who explores domestic workers and themes s class, race, and gender through her dynamic figurines and costuming will also have work on exhibit. Additionally, French artist Alexis Peskine’s video “Aljana Moons” sees men in space-age outfits made of recycled trash, exploring ideas of black masculinity and what it means to invent your identity out of what most people consider worthless.

“Sci-fi can be fun, imaginative and fantastical, but I think it becomes serious when you think about the ‘why’ behind one thinking of alternative realities,” said Tucker. “For Afrofuturism, my take is that tapping into alternate realities is because your current experience is so problematic and so fraught and not fun. I would say it’s an escape from one’s current situation.”

In Their Own FormIn Their Own Form opens at the Museum of Contemporary Photography on 12 April and will run through 8 July.