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Passin’ It On November 16, 2006-January 20, 2007 Leslie Hewitt Monique Walton Torkwase Dyson Rashawn Griffin Charles Huntley Nelson Jr. / Kevin Sipp Robert Pruitt


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Passin' It On “an evolutionary leap in consciousness, it must be made to happen and happen very quickly” - Elbert “Big Man” Howard (Panther on the Prowl, 2002)

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In the opening scene of The Brother from Another Planet (1984) an extraterrestrial, played by Joe Morton, crashes his spaceship in the harbor of New York City. Finding himself in unfamiliar surroundings, he disembarks through Ellis Island and takes a subway ride with a card trickster who simply says, “I have another magic trick for you. Wanna see me make all the white people disappear?” After everyone gets off the train in midtown, the next stop is 125th Street where he ends up among Harlem’s familiar-looking faces. It is here that this voiceless being starts to make observations, interpretations, and conclusions within this very different but familiar city. Traveling from one place to another isn’t unusual for some people. However, the simple act of entering new terrain can be sometimes less of a welcome than one can expect. Being no different from The Brother from Another Planet, these moments when we find ourselves in unfamiliar surroundings are a good way to understand today’s ethos. People often travel to live in places that are less familiar than the homes they once knew and have to incorporate their own culture with new ones. Each culture is made up of values and norms that determine what in life seems important and expectations are created as to how a person should behave in a foreign situation.

5 1. Charles Nelson Jr./ Kevin Sipp Lives and works in Atlanta, GA Mutropolis 2006 9 minutes, b/w film transferred to dvd Re-investigating marginalized histories through appropriated cinema

4. Torkwase Dyson Lives and works in Washington DC Feels Like Yellow 2005 2 minutes color dvd A video depicting the journey of self-discovery/ empowerment in a young girl 5. Robert Pruitt Lives and works in Houston, TX Black Stuntman 2004 4 minutes b/w animation transferred to dvd A take on everyday obstacles through the animated character Black Stuntman

2. Leslie Hewitt Lives and works in Houston, TX / New York, NY Unititled (footage) 2006 50 seconds color hi-8 video transferred to dvd This video performance addresses the value of ritual through daily tasks 6 3. Rashawn Griffin Lives and works in New York, NY To Bring Love/Terrible Things 2004 4 minutes color dvd Performance investigating multiple meanings through minimal actions

Using the opening scene from the movie as a point of reference in the exhibition Passin’ It On seven artists present six films containing elements of a fantastic vernacular. From personas whose memories mirror experiences of our own, each film’s characters acknowledge events in their intuitive and logical settings with no specific explanation. Using symbols and imagery that contain elements of legend, rituals and folklore, these artists challenge our assumed ideas of what is real and magical. Lori Salmon

6. Monique Walton Lives and works in New York, NY The Fourth Wall 2006 2 minutes color dvd A day in the life of an actress and often-unseen industry realities


Design: Ronny Quevedo

Installation view, Passin' It On

This exhibition investigates various processes found within daily rituals and those influences that inform our consciousness beyond assumed ideas of practicality and function. Exhibition organized by William Cordova

Rush Arts Gallery is a core program of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. The exhibitions of the gallery are sponsored in part by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts, a state agency. All programs are free and open to the public.

In Memory of Eathon Hall Jr. William Cordova received his MFA from Yale University in 2004 and his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996. He has held residencies at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Headlands Art Center, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and is currectly at the Core program at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. He has exhibited individually at Ardnt & Partner, Berlin, Germany; P.S.1 Center for Contemporary Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Miami; Plains Art Museum, North Dakota; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Manitoba, Canada. Group exhibitions include Project Row Houses, Houston; 49th Venice Biennale, Italy; and New Museum, New York. Lori Salmon is a writer based in New York. She has contributed essays to From You to Me and Back Again, Wallspace, New York and Frequency, The Studio Museum in Harlem as well as articles in ArtUS magazine.

Derrick Adams Curatorial Director, Rush Arts Gallery Danny Simmons President, Rush Arts Gallery and Co-founder of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Russell Simmons Chairman and Co-founder of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation 526 West 26th Street Suite 311, NYC 10001 Tues - Fri. 11 - 6, Sat. 12 - 6 t: 212.691.9552 f: 212.691.9304 www.rushartsgallery.org


Passin' It On