We are all grappling with this tumultuous present. A generational record on repeat; harmonious and disjointed, passionate and sad, exuberant and frightening. I experience a multitude of emotions most days, and attempt to carve out space for more introspection and meditation. Rest and respite have taken up more residence. I have been looking for more ways to process all that is happening, while still attempting to localize myself in the abundance of this moment. One rich with opportunity to unpack, unlearn, and chart new paths forward. It was from this space that I turned my attention to the creative visions of Simon Benjamin and Timothy Yanick Hunter, two Caribbean multidisciplinary artists raising questions about Africa and the diaspora, and the impact of the past on our present.
Timothy’s process is akin to a musician arranging a composition. He spent the duration of the summer in isolation creating a synthesis of sound, video and still images. Manipulated, layered, spliced; a collage of emotion. There is a pulsing vitality to his work, as seen in 800 Meters Double Dutch, where we as the viewer become hypnotized by Olympic runners racing to the finish line. A lexicon of black culture. Simon invites us to travel to Senegal and Jamaica, where the water is blue and the beach expansive. He removes us from the pulsing energy of America, his photography and video, portals for processing and integration. He returns again and again to cities, presenting their simplicities and unveiling their complexities. In A Return, a young Senegalese boy swims in the waters of Gorée Island, a moment of leisure, flanked by the island’s history.
Between Land and Sea, is textured and curious, speaking to the cross influence between region and place and engaging with the different frequencies of any given moment. —Stephanie Baptist
Stephanie Baptist was a 2019 recipient of the Catherine Hannah Behrend Fellowship in Visual Arts Management in 92Y’s Women inPower program.