Film still of wire and hair headdress
This film is a collection of 6 performers transforming spaces with significant ties to slavery or present-day racism in the city of Baltimore, MD. While they perform the movement in these spaces, their black bodies are adorned with wearable hair art sculptures which function as sacred objects. The use of smoke is meant to tap into the energy of the ancestors who walked there while simultaneously attempting to push forward to an emancipated future. Emancipation comes from unlocking what’s embedded with versus the traditional pathway of seeking freedom from the colonizer.
Each performer is adorned with a handmade hair sculpture that adorns their body and allows them to transcend, cleanse and heal. These headdresses transform from sculpture to artifact through the act of the ritual. This bond is sealed with the DNA of the wearer being deposited upon the pieces themselves, while the act of healing and releasing happens in the historical, specially chosen spaces of trauma.
Elizabeth Miller, Dev’nay, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist
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Elizabeth Miller, Dev’nay, 2020; Karma, 2020; Dev’nay, 2020; Kay, 2020. Images courtesy of the artist
Purchase this artwork and others from the Call & Response exhibition online at MCD’s Artists Marketplace.