Nov 18, 2021


STATE OF EMERGENCY: Artist Talk with James Gregory Atkinson

November 18, 2021 at 12pm PT

From Frankfurt to Seattle, please join us in virtually welcoming artist James Gregory Atkinson for a virtual conversation with Negarra A. Kudumu, curator of Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art. Centering on Atkinson’s video installation State of Emergency, which remains open at Goethe Pop Up Seattle until November 30, the talk will be facilitated by Kudumu, whose curatorial practice shares key concerns with Atkinson’s work. The conversation will delve into the process, sources, and themes that inform this exhibition, and will touch on some of Atkinson’s and Kudumu’s common cultural touchstones and areas of inquiry.

James Gregory Atkinson
© Neven Allgeier

James Gregory Atkinson, a graduate of the Städelschule, Frankfurt, is an artist who works with video, photography, and performance. In 2018, he curated Re:Re: BlackMacho. Unleash the Queen (Philipp Pflug Contemporary, Frankfurt). Currently a recipient of the Basis e.V. Frankfurt’s HAP Studio-Program (2021-2025), he has participated in the artist-in-residence programs of the Villa Aurora in 2016 (Los Angeles) and the Jan Van Eyck Akademie in 2017 (Maastricht), and was awarded a studio grant in New York from the Hessische Kulturstiftung in 2018. His film The Day I stopped kissing my Father, featuring a performance from the harpist Ahya Simone, was part of the exhibition Show Me Your Shelves!, curated by Contemporary And (C&) at the Detroit Public Library in 2019.

Negarra A. Kudumu
© Negarra A. Kudumu

Negarra A. Kudumu is an independent scholar, published writer, and healer working at the intersection of art and healing with a focus on contemporary art from the Pacific Northwest, Africa, South Asia, and their respective diasporas. Her curatorial expertise includes a curatorial residency at Bridge Productions where she curated work by the Seattle artist Mike Wagner. In 2017, Negarra co-organized the group exhibition Back Stories with Mariane Ibrahim, director and founder of the eponymous gallery, now headquartered in Chicago. Negarra regularly lectures, participates in talks, and moderates panels on various topics relating to contemporary art. Over the past four years, she has been invited to speak in Calgary, Toronto, Amsterdam, and Harare on a range of topics. Negarra received her MA from Leiden University (2006) and her BA from Dartmouth College (2001). Negarra lives and works in Seattle where she is Curator at the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA).

About the Exhibition:

This newly commissioned video installation centers the history of the iconic Peacock Chair to interrogate contemporary social contexts, historical concepts of identities, and ideas of Black masculinities and resistance. At the center of the exhibition State of Emergency is a film by James Gregory Atkinson titled Jail Bird in a Peacock Chair featuring Black Cracker, camera & edit Marcel Izquierdo Torres, camera assistant Béla Feldberg, dolly grip Marc Albrecht, music & spoken word Goodsteph, sound design Lessay, production Friederike Seifert, project management Mearg Negusse.




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