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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at Seventh Street, SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20024
Inspired by the harmonies and expansive artistry of Meshell Ndegeocello’s influential 2014 album «Comet, Come to Me,» Gates invites Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist Mikel Avery, soprano Ellaina Lewis, and DC-based musician Samuel Prather, to create an evening of musical expression that defies categorization. Working on stage at the Hirshhorn, the artists will respond through music and movement to the legacy of what Gates refers to as “negrobilia”—vintage cultural objects that depict stereotypical and caricatured images of people of color, created over a hundred years of U.S. history.
“Through their performance, each musician involved in the project will bring new life to artifacts, sheet music, reclaiming the stereotypes and stigmas that constructed the black experience after the 1890s,” said Gates. “’Plantation Lullabies’ reexamines the negative imagining of Black bodies and Black lives, bringing intelligence, creativity and humor to these objects and songs of disgrace, to demonstrate their relevance to the present moment.
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The Processions series has been made possible with support from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation. Additional support has been provided by The Skanby + Gould Foundation.