COLLAGE ON VIEW
April Bey: Atlantica, The Gilda Region
at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, California, USA
26 May 2021-17 January 2022
In “Atlantica, The Gilda Region”, April Bey’s first solo museum exhibition in Los Angeles, the Bahamian-American interdisciplinary artist presents an immersive installation that taps into Black Americans’ historical embrace of space travel and extraterrestrial visioning—a cultural movement dating back to the late 1960s and later termed Afrofuturism. Through this Afrofuturist lens, Bey reflects on subjects such as queerness, feminism, and internet culture in vibrant tableaux that combine living plants, video, music, photography, and oversized mixed-media paintings and textiles. The artist positions herself as an alien from the planet Atlantica, while her mission on Earth is to observe and report as an undercover agent. This imagined world and her general interest in storytelling come from her father, who would tell her childhood tales using alien narratives to illustrate how Black people were othered in the United States and The Bahamas. In contrast to the racial oppression and exploitation rampant on Earth, Atlantica offers a beautiful diasporic world in which Black people thrive and flourish.
The exhibition curator is Mar Hollingsworth, Visual Arts Curator and Program Manager.
(text adapted from the museum’s press materials)
California African American Museum
600 State Drive
Los Angeles, California 90037 USA