I Found You Like This examines the properties of the family photo album. Neatly arranged and immediately historic, who does the photo album prove itself to? Artist Glenn Ligon states, “The family photo album is a place where the family represents itself to itself, but it doesn’t represent certain things…” Through analyzing the moments his family felt need to image, Morris discovered the most common impetus for the photograph to exist was cataloguing celebratory moments. The domestic objects apparent in their historical catalogues inspired Morris to analyze the histories being exposed and imagine the hidden figures and identities not represented.
I Found You Like This sees the artist create an immersive installation situating found and treasured objects, mixed media paintings, video and draped materials throughout AC Institute’s gallery to act as remnants of domestic environments. What is sought for in or made clear by the domestic? For Morris, the domestic space is not of any true importance. However, he recognizes their tendency to be spaces where imagination thrives and one begins to try and identify themselves, in the same way that one may access the history imbued in a family photo album. I Found You Like This questions the failure of identity when confined to limited visual historical representations of self.
Devin N. Morris is a Baltimore born, Brooklyn based artist who is interested in abstracting American life and subverting traditional value systems through the exploration of racial and sexual identity in mixed media paintings, photographs, writings and video. His works prioritize displays of personal innocence and acts of kindness within surreal landscapes and elaborate draped environments that reimagine the social boundaries imposed on male interactions, platonic and otherwise. The use of gestural kindnesses between real and imagined characters are inspired by his various experiences growing as a black boy in Baltimore, MD and his later experiences navigating the world as a black queer man. Memory subconsciously roots itself in the use of familiar household materials & fabrics, while symbolically he arranges it. Looking to buoy his new realities in a permanent real space, Morris posits his reimagined societies as a prehistory to futures that are impossible to imagine.
Devin is also the editor of the great collaborative effort 3 Dot Zine, which is an annual publication that celebrates the futurity of minorities, in addition to serving as a forum for invited artists to center and elaborate on marginalized concerns. He has exhibited in America and Brazil, with short stories and visual works also appearing in NYU’s ISO Magazine, Nii Journal (London), Picture Newspaper and Packet Bi-Weekly Zine amongst others. He recently hosted the first Brown Paper ZIne & Small Press Fair for Black & PoC Artists at MoCADA Museum in Brooklyn, NY, and in collaboration with KAHLON, The Agency, hosted the second iteration in Baltimore, MD.
July 12, 2017, 7 – 9 p.m.
Lawrence Burney’s True Laurels Magazine places a focus on music trends coming out of Baltimore and the surrounding culture that informs it. True Laurels Radio will feature guests Professor Lawrence Brown and rapper, President Davo who are both featured in the recently launched True Laurels Issue 2. The show will follow the format of True Laurel’s Radio’s residency with The Lot Radio featuring music and interviews with both guests.
How I Learned to Smile, Only Halfway, With My Cheeks Still Low
Destiny B. in collaboration with Devin N. Morris
July 14, 2017, 7 – 9 p.m.
Destiny Be will present her very first multi-media performance, including clothing designs made in collaboration with Devin N. Morris, and original video, choreography, poetry and sound. The piece was inspired by her poem “Encased in Shimmer and Shards of Mirror” and a collaborative dressmaking project between herself and Devin N. Morris . The performance will unveil the psyche of Black femme consciousness, and interpret the immaterial forces that effect and mold that particular identity consciousness. The dresses made in collaboration with Devin N. Morris articulate femininity within all bodies and the textiles reference textures and materials of the interiors of their childhood memories.
July 19, 2017, 7 -9 p.m.
Works in Progress
July 21, 2017, 7 – 9 p.m.
Works In Progress is a call for artist who work in text based mediums to participate in a formal reading of works currently in development. The event would be part reading and part informal critique. The readings will be shared in a social environment where critique is not the main function of the space, but through social engagement with peers new ideas can be nurtured for future development. All guests will be asked to read a piece for 5 minutes and the piece will be loosely discussed in a 5 minute “cool down”.