PaperCity Magazine

March 2020- Houston

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ART TOPICS B etter than the Whitney Biennial — and less free of hype — is FotoFest. This year, the 18th international edition of photographic and new media art focuses for the first time in four decades on Africa and the artists of the African diaspora. "African Cosmologies —Photography, Time, and the Other" unveils this month at FotoFest HQ, Silver Street Studios, and the festival sprawls throughout the neighboring Sawyer Yards Complex. Mark Sealy, MBE — esteemed British curator, writer, activist, and director of nonprofit Autograph ABP — has been tapped as biennial curator, traveling from London. Among the 30-some artists selected by Seale are the well-known (Carrie Mae Weems, Houston-based Jamal Cyrus, Lyle Ashton Harris) as well as discoveries for U.S. audiences (Aïda Muluneh, Jean Depara, Samuel Fosso). Here are our picks for 2020, including voices from the African continent and its diaspora, as well as fresh Houston talents. FotoFest Biennial 2020, March F ew musicians are as closely tied to Houston's identity as the late DJ Screw. Born Robert Earl Davis Jr., he made his name selling cassette tapes of dubs of local and national hip-hop music where he slowed tempos down to a crawl, pitch-shifted their voices, and blended songs together to create a psychedelic new sound. He called this technique "chopped and screwed," and his mixes ("screwtapes") are as essential as the music they contain — they are entirely new works of art. A DJ Screw remix is often as relevant as the original song. 26 The exhibition "Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City Through Mutated Lenses" at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston applies DJ Screw's freewheeling and transformative skill as a DJ to showcasing and synthesizing the multilayered works of Houston and Texas-based artists. Patricia Restrepo serves as lead curator, alongside guest curators Big Bubb, owner of Screwed Up Records & Types, and rapper E.S.G. They've organized the tribute in two acts. Part one consists of archival Screw materials mostly drawn from the Special Collection at University of Houston Libraries. Part two is an innovative, immersive show comprised of visual artists and photographers who have fused their works in mutated, mashed-up ways, remixing original and found materials into entirely new animals. Among the 15 exhibiting artists: Karen Navarro, Sondra Perry, Tomashi Jackson, Robert Hodge, Jamal Cyrus, Liss LaFleur, and Rabéa Ballin. "Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City Through Mutated Lenses," March 6 – June 7, Matthew Ramirez FOTOFEST IN FOCUS: AFRICA AND THE DIASPORA FOTOFEST AT CAMH GETS CHOPPED AND SCREWED Clockwise from above: Samuel Fosso's Autoportrait L_002853 (Muhammad Ali), from the series "African Spirits," 2008, at FotoFest. Marc Newsome's Wolf 's Pawn Shop #1, 2014, at Winston Contemporary Art. Ronald L. Jones' Untitled 2, at Civic TV. 8 – April 19; complete lineup of FotoFest- organized exhibitions and participating spaces, Catherine D. Anspon From left to right, both at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston: DJ Scew in his home studio, 1995, photo by Ben DeSoto. Karen Navarro's Fragment, 2019. COURTESY THE ARTIST COURTESY THE ARTIST AND JEAN MARC PATRAS, PARIS COURTESY THE ARTIST AND CIVIC TV COURTESY THE ARTIST AND CAMH

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