After Whitney Biennial Withdrawal, YAM Collective Mounts Two-Night Happening

HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?, Good Stock on the Dimension Floor: An Opera (2014). Collection of the artists. © HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?.

The HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? collective (YAM for short), a group of African-American artists who withdrew from the 2014 Whitney Biennial earlier this month in protest of its overwhelming lack of racial diversity, are mounting a two-night series of happenings on May 29 and 30, at Freecandy in Brooklyn.

The events, which are free (but you should RSVP), will include music, film screenings, and live performance. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. on both evenings, with the happenings beginning at 8 p.m. In light of the group’s stated interest in disrupting linear narrative forms in order to imagine possible alternative realities and configurations through abstraction,

“The role of abstraction in the contemporary black avant-garde seems necessary as we are bodies that are mis-recognized, overly-recognized, put into tiny boxes as being X or Z,” says University of Pittsburgh professor and YAM collaborator Dawn Lundy Martin in a statement. “It’s about stepping out of social and cultural constraints of ‘blackness’ and into the imagined future, a refusal to adhere to the idea that we can be known.”

The HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? happenings will take place at 8 p.m. on May 29 and 30 at Freecandy (905 Atlantic Avenue). RSVP here.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics