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Exhibitions

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Rhodnie Désir: Conversations

Rhodnie Désir Conversations
When:
Dec 11, 2021 – Apr 3, 2022
Past Event
Special Exhibition
Free with Museum Admission
Where:
Museum of Art
Monda Gallery

In her multidimensional choreographic career, Dancer/choreographer Rhodnie Désir created BOW’T TRAIL, a choreographic-documentary journey in which she has conducted research throughout the Americas since 2015. Her work included visits to countries such as Martinique, Brazil, Haïti, Canada, Mexico, and the United States to immerse herself within the African and afro descendant cultures and rhythms generated from the ingenuity of her ancestors since the Slave Trade. The resulting nine choreographic works are archived in five hours of carefully recorded content
accessible in 75 videos on a Webdocumentary platform (bowttrail.com), a feature movie (ARTV), and BOW’T TRAIL Young Leader project (Booker High School).

Désir’s inaugural exhibition, Conversations, is a co-creation with artists Paul Chambers, Lighting Design; Engone Endong, Music Composer; Manuel Chantre, Video and Sound Design; and Cecilia Bracmort, Curatorial Advisor, who combine video, light, and sound to sculpt the space to explore Désir’s experiences on the BOW’T TRAIL and bring the on-stage performance into a new gallery-based medium.. The installation
evokes a liminal space, which is the in-between or transitional space that is often accessible through visions and rituals. With a cumulative and polyrhythmic approach, the artist seeks to share her perspectives through a plural conversation between the past and the present.

The video installation work activates a new poetic signature from Désir’s original travels by using a specific documentary aesthetic to create a contemporary artistic work and places the people and the lands she encountered in a common dialogue with each other.

Recognizing that dance is a powerful, political communication tool, she uses her knowledge to build a new vocabulary within the space that contemplates the physical, sacred, and ethereal body. In Conversations, Desir shares and extends the space to her audience—a space that she and her ancestors may have traversed in order to connect, moving beyond words towards resistance. By interrogating the notion of what constitutes a body, she seeks to move beyond the human body and imagine the gallery space as a body all on its own. The installation beautifully illustrates the transformational power of the space and its movement to build and elevate the conversation about the Black community and its history.

Conversations, on view from Dec. 11- April 3, 2022, unmasks a hidden narrative of survival and highlights the movements that continue to create culture and community while navigating systems of oppression. 

View the Playbill

Paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues

Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax.

Support for this exhibition was provided by the Manatee County Community Foundation and the Ellin Family Art of Our Time Endowment.

Image: Manual Chantre

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