Yung Yemi: Holding Space & Noah Brown: Inna Di Morrows

Yung Yemi – Holding Space

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 17th
Exhibition Dates: Jan 17-Feb 16 2019
Location: 1210 Dundas St E
Project Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Yung Yemi running concurrently with Noah Brown at our Dundas gallery.
In this body of work Adeyemi Adegbesan explores the double entendre of minority bodies holding their space physically and figuratively in a Eurocentric world. Through an afrofuturist lens Adegbesan responds to a society in which so much of contemporary black culture is positioned in response to dominant culture as either an outcome or a rebuttal to a history of struggle. Influenced by icons such as Octavia Butler, W.EB Du Bois, Bell Hooks, and Cornel West, Adegbesan’s work is also a process of searching for his own space as a person of mixed African and European descent. Marrying these concepts and discoveries Adegbesan aims to challenge misrepresentation of African history in Western society.
“Arofuturism creates an undefined space that allows black people to exist separate from traditional narratives. Following in the Pan-Africanist tradition, my work is a merging of westernized ‘black’ culture and traditional African culture. Centuries of colonialism have created a gap between these constructs of blackness and Pan-Africanism seeks to reconcile them. To me, this goes hand in hand with Afrofuturism because it’s easiest to do that in an undefined space.
African history as it relates to the rest of the world has been mislabeled and misrepresented for centuries, which leaves a general lack of awareness and lack of appreciation for the rest of the world. That lack of appreciation directly undermines the cultural and economic significance of what Africa has to offer. In North America that history has systematically been withheld and concealed. For all societies history is built layer by layer. Each generation stands on the shoulders of the last to achieve new success. History is a means of transferring knowledge and in a very direct sense transferring wealth. For people of African descent there’s an added barrier in this process because so many of us have fractured histories. We have to search harder and do more work to discover the foundations on which we are to build the next layers of our history.”
Adeyemi Adegbesan is a Toronto based photographic artist whose practice aims to examine the intersectionality of black identity. Reflecting on blackness through pre-colonial – colonial – present day and future timelines, across regions, religions, varying levels of income, and political lines; Adegbesan interrogates the dichotomy of the richness of black experiences with the imposed societal homogeneity of ‘Blackness’. Through his work Adegbesan pulls from these varying elements to create Afro-futuristic portraits that embody history, future and culture all in one.

Noah Brown: Inna Di Morrows

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 17th
Exhibition Dates: Jan 17-Feb 16 2019
Location: 1210 Dundas St E
Project Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by Noah Brown running concurrently with Yung Yemi at our Dundas gallery.

Artist Statement:

“I create imagery though an interconnecting of fiber, my use of material and technique referencing both of my ethnic backgrounds. My dry-felted tapestries explore the harsh conditions of limited space that people of colour endure throughout experiences of oppression. This racially biased confinement runs continuously in our society. A result of such organized division has people growing up normalized to class-housing and prison.

This work claims justice against the imbalance of under-represented visual depictions of minority identities and fights the onslaught of depictions of radicalized people through the ongoing cycle of youth assuming tired and damaging stereotypes.

My self-portrait reflects on the need to question my ability to attain full potential when choosing not to ascribe to preconceived notions of identity. Another tapestry depicts a sitting person in a moment of reflection, their image immortalized without a face, without an individual’s identity.”

Noah J. Brown is a Toronto-based artist, designer, and curator. During his high school years, his talent was fostered at the Etobicoke School of Arts where he was discovered by Project Gallery. Known as the first teenager to display a solo show in a commercial gallery space, Brown also exhibited at the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo and Art Gallery of Guelph. His work explores challenges of social frameworks resulting from cultural stereotyping and long lasting historical trauma of slavery. Identifying as androgynous, he expresses vulnerability by choosing mediums such as the jewelry, large dry-felted tapestries and porcelain sculpture. His intellectual subject matter has led to guest lectures at University of Toronto, OCAD, and Roncesvalles United Church. Brown’s future leads to New York where he is being presented with two Scholastic Gold medals and a scholarship to Cooper Union where he will further explore his fine arts abilities.

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