Pittsburgh and New York artists collaborate for New Archives: Visions & Voices from the August Wilson Center Lab | Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh and New York artists collaborate for New Archives: Visions & Voices from the August Wilson Center Lab

A new exhibition at CLP-Oakland features work by predominantly Black artists and archivists

click to enlarge Anqwenique Wingfield for BOOM Concepts
Anqwenique Wingfield for BOOM Concepts

A new exhibition at the CLP-Main brings Pittsburgh and New York artists together for a collection of collaborative works.

Organized and produced by VIA, New Archives: Visions & Voices from AWC Lab (opening Jan. 26) features videos, sculptures, manuscripts, and digital artworks described as engaging “collective and personal approaches to storytelling and archival practice, Afrofuturism, science-fiction, and design-thinking.” It showcases works based on storylines and designs created between the featured artists and over 100 Pittsburgh residents who participated in the August Wilson Center Lab pop-up event. 

The show also provides an opportunity to spotlight the many resources offered by public libraries.

Guests can expect to find a wide array of artwork and interactive activities. Salome Asega, Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde, Mariama Jalloh, and Mala Kumar of the Iyapo Repository, a resource library created to affirm and project the future of people of African descent, will present imaginative futuristic “artifacts,” such as Reproductive Health Lollipops and a therapeutic, mind-altering Reality Pillow. Working with them are Afronaut(a) filmmakers Alisha Wormsley, Njaimeh Njie, and Christina Springer, who will contribute shorts depicting the worlds and conditions in which the Iyapo artifacts exist.

Bekezela Mguni of the Black Unicorn Library & Archives Project presents an interactive digital sculpture designed by Iyapo Repository. The work houses curated custom libraries organized around the categories of Love, Survival, and Joy, all of which commemorate Black women and LGBTQI figures, “herstories,” and more.

Representing the Pittsburgh creative hub BOOM Concepts are D.S. Kinsel, Anqwenique Wingfield, and Ava Kling. Their display of sculptures, created from ritual utensils and sacraments, utilizes augmented-reality and performance videos to highlight If I Die I’m a Legend: A Tale of Orisha, Hoodoo and #BlackLivesMatter, a series that explores relationships between history, ownership, place, and ceremony.

Last but not least, the Institute of Plant Motivation shares a collection of local plants able to express themselves through sound, as well as a wearable seed skirt that encourages guests to consider different ways to understand, communicate with, and support botanical life.

New Archives: Visions & Voices from the August Wilson Center Lab continues through March 3. The exhibition is free and open to the public during library hours.

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