You can’t see Chris Fonseca boogie without smiling. The incantatory ritual of Vivian Chinasa Ezugha may make you cry out. Witness Ellice Patterson’s beguiling pas de deux with an unexpected partner, and tune in to Syrus Marcus Ware’s afrofuturistic transmission to ancestors. These, and other performances, are all part of VISIBILITY: A Selection of Black Deaf and Disabled Performance Artists, the amazing, ongoing online experience curated by Ikouii founder Aleatha Lindsay (M.A., arts administration, 2013).
“When I decided to curate this exhibition, I knew I had to build an assemblage of strong, unapologetically Black artists with work that celebrates the aesthetic sensibility of the Black disabled community,” Lindsay says. “While each work presents a singular narrative, they all capture the ephemeral and enduring moments of the Black disabled experience. Every work within VISIBILITY explores the themes of race and disability, and importantly the intersection of the two.”
VISIBILITY is free. Visit Ikouii to watch the performances. Dancer and choreographer Antoine Hunter, soul singer-songwriter Lizzie Emeh, and disabled arts pioneer Leroy F. Moore also all feature to stunning effect. Additionally, throughout the month of February, the Ikouii Instagram is home to virtual studio visits with VISIBILITY artists. Lindsay: “We want to provide a space specifically for our Black disabled artists to share and engage.”
Photos of Vivian Chinasa Ezugha by Rosie Cooper are the iconic representative portraits for VISIBILITY. “These photos are from Chinasa’s series Because of hair; the dichotomy of culture and identity,” Lindsay explains. “Celebrating the intersection of Blackness, culture, humanity, and strength, the photos are really representative of the themes examined in VISIBILITY.”
The precedent for Lindsay’s work was set at SCAD. “I majored in arts administration, which is now called creative business leadership. I knew early on that I wanted to work with artists and audiences with disabilities, so I loved that my professors allowed me to structure my interests in disability arts, accessibility, and inclusion. My SCAD experience facilitated invaluable connections with arts organizations including Cobb Energy, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, and the Oglethorpe Museum of Art.” Lindsay’s senior thesis, a program designed for children on the Autism spectrum and their families to enjoy an art museum experience, won the SCAD Thesis Award.
Now this alumna is curating, collaborating, and connecting on another level. Check out VISIBILITY on view through March 10, 2021.
VISIBILITY is brought to you by Ikouii, the Atlanta-based organization founded by Aleatha Lindsay.
Written by Peter Relic