Derrick Adams: Transmission
Jun 8, 2018 - Aug 26, 2018
The sculptures, installations, and works on paper included in this exhibition illustrate American artist Derrick Adams’ ongoing study of racial identity as it is both filtered through popular culture and also reimagined for the future. Each body of work featured in this exhibition highlights a particular strain of Adams’ sharp yet unexpectedly playful representations of figures both real and imagined, from the past and the future.
Included in Transmission is his series of Boxhead sculptures depicting androgynous figures as viewed through an analog TV set. Held within these tight frames, the figures seem to burst forth from their boxes. Adams presents these faces as though from multiple viewpoints, toying with their flatness and suggesting that such portrayals on television might do better by endowing their characters with more dimensionality. His interactive sculptures On invite viewers to perform their own infomercials, using generic objects as stand-ins for consumer products similarly pitched to a captive audience via television and the internet. Another interactive installation completes this survey of Adams’ work: Future People. A video projection transports viewers who are sitting in specially designed chairs on a platform into an imagined future. Passing through constellations of objects in a sci-fi setting, the viewer journeys to a particular future—one that is inspired by far-ranging sources related to AfroFuturism.