Solo Exhibition
11 September 2021–2 January 2022

Jeffrey Gibson: To Feel Myself Beloved on the Earth

Benenson Center, Art Omi, Ghent, New York, USA

‘To Feel Myself Beloved on the Earth’ is an exhibition of new and recent multimedia works by Jeffrey Gibson, incorporating quilts, garments, drums, prints and video. The presentation takes its title from ‘Late Fragment’, the final poem in Raymond Carver’s last published work, ‘A New Path to the Waterfall’.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday 11 September, 3-6pm. Featuring a performance by Black Belt Eagle Scout at 5pm.

Gibson’s eponymous video ‘To Feel Myself Beloved on the Earth’ was produced in 2020, amidst both the coronavirus pandemic and a time of civil unrest as citizens took to the streets to demand equity and justice for BIPOC communities. This sixteen-minute video features six different performances, exploring themes of identity, sound, community, and resilience through rhythm and movement. Local performers from a variety of cultural and dance backgrounds were filmed in both urban and natural environments, including the grounds of Art Omi. Enveloped in a fugue of ambient sound and drumming, each performance emphasizes the transformation of chaos to stability, and the balance between harmony and tension.

Featured in ‘To Feel Myself Beloved on the Earth’ are the performer’s garments created by Gibson’s studio. Exhibited alongside their debut performances are also seven new drums, bringing these elements together to provide visual, rhythmic connection. Gibson utilises language as a strategy to investigate issues of race, sexuality, religion and gender. His own writing is imbued with the power of political statements, and is prevalent throughout this series of drums, colourful prints and new quilts on display.

The large-scale quilts feature messages that range from poignant to proud and celebratory. With titles ranging from ‘His Love is Deep’, to ‘SHE KNOWS OTHER WORLDS’, Gibson’s use of language taps into the welcoming and inclusive aura of house music and dance, specifically for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, while recognising the power of words and continued significance of these messages today.

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