Esmaa Mohamoud Probes Into “Black Body Politics” in New Kavi Gupta Exhibition

On view in Chicago until August 26.

Art
909 Hypes 0 Comments

Chicago’s Kavi Gupta Gallery is showcasing a new exhibition of works by African-Canadian artist, Esmaa Mohamoud. Entitled Let Them Consume Me in the Light, the Toronto-based artist is presenting a series of sculptures that probe into what the artist calls “Black body politics”, or a web of interconnected social, historical, economic and personal connotations of Blackness — both perceived by the Black community and non-Black people alike.

Cinematic in tone, Mohamoud is showcasing four paradoxical sculptures that act as monuments of nostalgia on a road towards nirvana. Perched high up the gallery is a tall peacock chair made of rattan that is named to pay homage to an actress who once towered over her contemporaries, while simultaneously dissecting darker undertones to which the original peacock chairs were once built by slaves in colonial Asia.

Similarly elevated to exaggerated levels is a vintage pink Cadillac whose tireless rims give way to metal stilts that support the vehicle. Shiny and clearly alluring on first glance, Mohamoud has gutted the car of all its primary functions, rendering it useless. Entitled Nirvana (Oh, Sweet Elham), the artwork was conceptually inspired by a miniature black Cadillac VHS tape rewinder that Mohamoud’s grandmother Elham once owned — prompting the artist to research how the American automobile became an aspect of Black identity, but also learning how the Black community was racially discriminated from purchasing luxury cars in the 20th century.

Set atop Italian marble plinths, Gluttony, Gluttony, Gluttony features a series of busts made of Ghanaian shea butter, known for its nourishing qualities, which she in-turn subverted to serve as a haunting reflection of the young African girls who are ruthlessly exploited in harvesting these shea nuts.

At the core of the exhibition is Mohamoud’s belief that Black cultural products are inevitably exploited by majoritarian society. “They should consume us in the light of the truth,” notes the artist, “in the light of racial injustice, in the light of the things we don’t usually want to talk about.” By opening this dialogue, she invites the audience to reconsider our nostalgia for misrepresented histories.

Let Them Consume Me in the Light will be on view at Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago until August 26.

Elsewhere, the Brooklyn Museum will retrace the people, places and objects that have fueled Spike Lee’s prolific career.

Kavi Gupta Gallery
835 W Washington Blvd floors 1-3
Chicago, IL 60607

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Willie Cole Presents 'THE B-SIDES: 1989-2022' at Kavi Gupta Gallery
Art

Willie Cole Presents 'THE B-SIDES: 1989-2022' at Kavi Gupta Gallery

On view in Chicago until January 27, 2024.

New Balance’s 2002R GORE-TEX Surfaces in “Black Coffee”
Footwear

New Balance’s 2002R GORE-TEX Surfaces in “Black Coffee”

Take a sip. 

Zhong Wei Probes Into the Shifting Power Dynamics Between Man and Machine
Art

Zhong Wei Probes Into the Shifting Power Dynamics Between Man and Machine

Opening soon at DE SARTHE gallery in Hong Kong.


Air Jordan 1 “Black Toe Reimagined” To Drop Holiday 2024
Footwear

Air Jordan 1 “Black Toe Reimagined” To Drop Holiday 2024

The forthcoming release was first rumored back in 2022, but more firm details are starting to come to light.

JULIUS Posits Grunge Chic for SS24
Fashion

JULIUS Posits Grunge Chic for SS24

Where color and construction dance.

TAG Heuer Returns to the High Seas with the Nautical Carrera Skipper Watch
Watches

TAG Heuer Returns to the High Seas with the Nautical Carrera Skipper Watch

Presented by TAG Heuer
The brand reintroduces the popular yacht racing style that originally debuted in 1968.

Spanto's Friends and Family Share Fond Memories of the Late Designer, in Conversation With 'Vogue'
Fashion

Spanto's Friends and Family Share Fond Memories of the Late Designer, in Conversation With 'Vogue'

Remembering the Born X Raised founder’s legacy, following his passing last month.

The Jordan Hex Mule Stands Out in "Brilliant Orange"
Footwear

The Jordan Hex Mule Stands Out in "Brilliant Orange"

Set to release alongside the matching WNBA-themed Air Jordan 12 colorway.

Check Out Thom Browne's New Whale Bag
Fashion

Check Out Thom Browne's New Whale Bag

A whale of a bag … that’s actually pretty small


Meguru Yamaguchi Debuts New 'Awakenings' Paintings at Tokyo Gendai
Art

Meguru Yamaguchi Debuts New 'Awakenings' Paintings at Tokyo Gendai

Capturing the flow of nature and water with references to Hokusai and Da Vinci.

OAMC Introduces New "Trail Runner, High" Sneaker
Footwear

OAMC Introduces New "Trail Runner, High" Sneaker

Appearing in two colorways. 

Tod's Creative Director Walter Chiapponi To Exit the Brand
Fashion

Tod's Creative Director Walter Chiapponi To Exit the Brand

His final collection for the label will be shown during Milan Fashion Week in September.

Corteiz Is Re-Releasing Its Nike Air Max 95 Collab for £110 GBP
Footwear 

Corteiz Is Re-Releasing Its Nike Air Max 95 Collab for £110 GBP

After cancelling thousands of online bot orders.

Azuma Makoto Submerges Floral Installation in Uncharted Ocean Waters
Art

Azuma Makoto Submerges Floral Installation in Uncharted Ocean Waters

The third installment of his ‘In Bloom’ series.

More ▾
 
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.