Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow Kokayi is a GRAMMY nominated musician that is currently using portraiture, sound, performance and film create work that asks the viewer to participate and perpetuate the intangible cultural heritage of black Americans. His work uses manipulated found sounds, portraiture and stories of African/African American men to give the subjects the opportunity to serve as cultural touchpoints in creating a sense of identity, belonging within the diaspora. Kokayi uses technology to remix ideas of masculinity, alterity, divination, success, mediocrity and death as seen in fictional monolithic narratives of Western mythology into tangible representations of black American culture.
HUBRI$ is a mixed media portrait on the experience of black masculinity mediated through the lens of the story of Icarus and Daedalus. At its nexus, the work is an amalgamation of themes that directly confront; the prison industrial complex, escapism, recidivism, depression, suicide, death and reincarnation. The work also examines society’s obsession with mediocrity, relationship to celebrity, an era of shame and the way in which black men are asked to dream.
Kokayi's work will be installed at Union Market, open June 15-23 from 10am-6pm