Los Angeles arts institution Transformative Arts presents an art exhibition throughout the city of LA titled Adornment ⏐ Artifact, a visionary project and experience showcasing the aesthetic lineages of ancient Nubia in Los Angeles through the work of 70 LA-based artists. Adornment ⏐ Artifact will run alongside the Nubia: Jewels of Ancient Sudan exhibition from Museum of Fine Arts Boston on view at the Getty Villa. The exhibition is curated by jill moniz.
Housed at five sites across the city, Adornment ⏐ Artifact investigates how contemporary artworks made in Los Angeles by LA-based artists engage and express the traditions, objects and materials that shaped the cultures of the Nile River Valley. Nubia was an important gateway for materials and ideas that spread from its trade routes, migrations, spiritual knowledge and socio-political power over millennia. Responsive ways of knowing and seeing the world were shared and deeply embedded in memories, identities and storytelling, offering artists who engage with Nubian impulses and iconographies a foundational past, a vital present and promising futures.
Adornment ⏐ Artifact recognizes the transformative power and meaning of art making. We recognize that Los Angeles reflects Nubia as a site of prolific, global cultural production.
By coalescing our vision around the symbolic bonds between the past and present, maker and community, impulses and actions, we are reclaiming ancient ideas to craft a better, more comprehensive knowledge about the role of contemporary artists in our diverse and ever-changing landscape.
Approaching the visual language and material of Ancient Nubia from contemporary, diverse perspectives and experiences allows artists to construct meaningful cultural connections through adornment, artifacts and transcendent acts of making. From ancient jewelry and amulets of the ruling elite to modern-day personal and communal styles and objects, these diasporic relationships continue to influence, to liberate and to refuse that which does not serve us, including institutional definitions of who we are and what art is for.
Each venue in Adornment ⏐ Artifact invites viewers to better understand the Nubian Diaspora from makers of related geographies, from the Middle East to Mexico, to the use of ancient materials and symbols like scarabs, pyramids and totems. Through objects and digital works, performances, artist talks, art-making workshops, musical celebrations, and gatherings, this months-long engagement with cultural organizations throughout the county offers local, dynamic and interpretative opportunities to reanimate the jewels of ancient Nubia.
Adornment ⏐ Artifact is conceived by Transformative Arts, a global initiative led by jill moniz. Together with a team of women from around the world, moniz in partnership with Jeffrey Spier of the Getty Villa challenges historic notions about antiquities, museums, collaboration and community.
Four contemporary artworks by Lauren Halsey, June Edmonds, Melvin Edwards, and Umar Rashid will be on view at the Getty Villa from October 12 – April 3, 2023.
View more at Adornment | Artifact