Onajide Shabaka - Floridian Lacunae
September 14 - October 27, 2019
Onajide Shabaka is a South Florida-based artist whose “studio” occupies a metaphorical space of a walk or a hike within the built urban environment. His walking practice takes him by many unkempt edges and along undeveloped or disused lots, habitats that are often overlooked or considered “weed”-infested or “vacant.” His work comprises drawings, watercolors, photographs, video and installation as it weaves plants, people, and history in a poetic, rather than a documentary, manner.
The artist will utilize the gallery space as a provisional work area. Visitors are invited to interact with the artist by trying out his practice of walking a short distance to discover a nearby hidden landscape. Then they may return to the gallery to draw with colored pencils and markers any of the plants, rocks, and other found elements that they have scavenged, and to accompany those illustrations with any writing they may wish to share. Some botanical and geological objects will be available in the gallery already. On the wall in the gallery, visitors can contribute to the creation of a collective “anthology” drawing and can map the night sky in an interactive work inspired by Shabaka’s work.
A flag designed by Shabaka will be installed on the Art and Culture Center’s flagpole, consistent with his interest in mapping and locating places and points of interest.
Shabaka is an artist, cultural practitioner and writer who has lived in California and Florida, where his art practice is connected through historical/biographical themes related to geography, including the African diaspora and Native-American cultures. Using ethnobotany and the performative as aesthetic vehicles for making those references and their historical reconstruction, his art practice comes into being through the complex effects of institutions, histories, and human experiences. Additionally, Shabaka’s writing and curatorial practice focuses largely on contemporary art and culture, and subjects of specific research.
The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood is a 501©(3) non-profit organization supported in part by its members, admissions, private entities, the City of Hollywood; the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation; and the Josephine S. Leiser Foundation. We welcome donations from all members of the community who wish to support our work.