A cluster of seven long black dresses, their full and billowing skirts madly spinning hover frozen in their attempt to escape through the ceiling. A warren of life size white rabbits materialize through the walls and gather to gaze transfixed upon the scene through human like eyes.
SEPTEMBER 2012- MARCH 2013
ALJIRA, A CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
591 BROAD STREET, NEWARK, NJ
ALYSON POU TALKS WITH POET, FAYEMI SHAKUR ABOUT DREAMS, THE CREATIVE PROCESS AND SURREALISM
“ODDITIES AT ALJIRA: OGLING RABBITS ON DISPLAY…” BY DAN BISCHOFF
“WHO I AM IS NOT AT ALL REMOVED FROM THE WORK.”-BY ELIZABETH ZIMMER
BLUEPRRINT PRODUCTIONS- FILM DOCUMENTING FURY IN PROGRESS
Photo gallery Opening Reception September 6th, 2012:
"Wherein Fury Takes Flight...the time of our silence is over"
“In my work I seek to create a place open to curiosity and wonderment, a place for viewers to enter and conjure their own memories and stories, and perhaps visit their own secret world.”
Years ago I had a vivid dream of a large room filled with black dresses twirling, hovering, flying, and colliding. I was outside looking in, then standing in the midst of the storm of dresses. The next morning I got news of my grandmother’s death. After her funeral, I continued to have thoughts and dreams of this room full of black dresses silently twirling, dancing, and hovering around the ceiling like ghosts. It became the inspirations for a performance/installation titled “To Us At Twilight…”
Now, more than 20 years later I revisit that room. I feel the presence of all the women in my family who have since died and the presence of many more women stretching back into the deepest past. This time they are whipping up a mighty wind making a decision to move, to leave behind the desires, secrets, hardships of the past.
Wherein Fury takes Flight… consists of seven dresses constructed from thrift store finds that I have taken apart, sometimes dyed or embellished and then reassembled. The resulting garments are contemporary but at the same time evoke another era.
“The rabbits symbolize transition and transformation. They come out at dawn and dusk, the witching hour, the most vulnerable time of day, when things slip from life to death, from evil to good. They’re gathering to bear witness, and support the movement from stasis to change.
“They also represent the underlying secret world in my family that I learned about as a child and visited through observing the women around me. In unspoken ways they instructed me and gave me glimpses into the depth of their experiences. Through them my imagination was drawn to the past and a desire to understand the women who came before me.
Dresses in progress during fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts:
Re-combining and assembling parts of contemporary cast off garments allows me to create the individual personality of each dress while blurring the boundaries between styles of past centuries and the present. Each dress is attached to an armature shaped like a coat hanger, a now ubiquitous, utilitarian object invented by Thomas Jefferson.
RABBITS IN PROGRESS:
Chuck Shultz of Blue Print Productions filming work-in-progress at Aljira: