Museum visitors are invited to visit the Historic Asolo Theater for an open flag viewing and listening session featuring an installation from John Sims’ performance 2020: (Di)Visions of America and his AfroDixieRemixes soundscape.
This audio-visual-poetic listening viewing/listening pop-up exhibition will present a giant version of the artist's signature AfroConfederate flag, in conversation with the audio screening of The AfroDixieRemixes. This 13-year music project confronts the song Dixie –the anthem of the Confederacy--by subversively by remixing, remapping and cross-appropriating with a collection of 14 tracks of Dixie in the many genres of Black music: Spiritual, Blues, Gospel, Jazz, Funk Calypso, Samba, Soul, R&B, House, Hip Hop, featuring local musicians from Sarasota, Florida and surrounding areas.
"While it’s not my impulse to erase this curious tune — completely, I am drawn to re-image it through the speakerphone of black music, to make the point that the African-American experience is central to any notion of Southern heritage. And while black culture has been traded, stolen, borrowed and reformed in both magical and pathological ways, I am delighted to return the favor subversively via remixing, remapping and cross-appropriation."
This sound performance is a part of the artist’s bigger 20-year multi-media project, Recoloration Proclamation, which explores the complexity of identity, cultural appropriation and visual terrorism in the context of Confederate iconography and African-American culture. This system of works features recolored Confederate flags, installations, public performances, a documentary film, this music project and the recently created the annual Burn and Bury Confederate flag Memorial Funeral.
2020 : (Di)Visions of America
January 18, 2021 Recorded Performances
2020: (Di)Visions of America by John Sims The Art of Performance opens 2021 with a new performance by The Ringling's Artist in Residence, John Sims. The year 2020 has presented a historic collage of collective fear, unrest, and protest: the conditions for both exposing deep divisions and the making of a new vision that values justice, social respect and the power of transformative compassion. Responding to Covid 19, American policing and the pushback on Confederate iconography and systemic white supremacy, artist and writer John Sims has created a multimedia performance that examines these themes in the both context of Black Lives Matter and global citizenship. Based on his recent op-eds and the use of an evolving self-portrait, the show will respond to the main events of 2020 with his KoronaKilla video game, Dear Police sound piece, and a Gamble Plantation as a Slave Memorial Animation. To engage the community directly, various community leaders and their personal responses will be incorporated into the presentation. John Sims welcomes special guest participants Chandra Carty and Lisa Merritt MD.
In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Sims will kick off a series of recorded broadcast performances filmed in the Historic Asolo Theater on Jan. 18th, with additional showings on January 23rd, 30th, and February 1st. All will be available for at-home viewing, with the exception of an outdoor in-person closing night screening on Feb. 1st in the museum’s Benfer Courtyard.
Art of Performance is paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues,the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Huisking Foundation and Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. Additional programming support is provided through the generosity of the Shank Family Foundation.