VMFA is hosting a series of talks in conjunction with the special exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse. These bi-weekly virtual conversations between scholars, curators, and visual and musical artists explore poetry, visual and sonic culture, contemporary southern hip-hop, and legacies of traditional southern aesthetics.
All events will be recorded and posted to the VMFA YouTube channel at a later date.
with RICHARD “FIEND” JONES, A.K.A. INTERNATIONAL JONES, American Rapper and Producer in conversation with DR. LANGSTON COLLIN WILKINS, Director of the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions, Washington State Arts Commission
Thu, Aug 5 | 6:30–7:30 pm
Register on Zoom
RICHARD JONES, better known by his stage name Fiend or International Jones, is an American rapper and producer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Fiend is currently signed to his own label and Jet Life Recordings and no Limit Records. In early 2021 Jones released his new single, “Survivor’s Anthem” preceding his new album, Thank God Its Fiend (TGIF) set for release this Friday, March 19th.
LANGSTON COLLIN WILKINS, PhD, is a Seattle-based folklorist, ethnomusicologist, and writer. His research interests include urban folklife, hip-hop culture and African American music. Langston has written extensively about SLAB, an urban car culture that is native to Houston, Texas, and closely tied to the Screw, the city’s local brand of hip-hop music. Langston received his PhD in Ethnomusicology from Indiana University in 2016. He also holds a Masters degree in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University and a Bachelors of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin. Langston is currently the Director of the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions, a collaboration between Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission that seeks to document and preserve the traditional culture of Washington state.
Stifling the Scream: The Dirt in the Dirty South
with VALERIE CASSEL OLIVER, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Contemporary Art, in conversation with DR. FRED MOTEN, Professor in the Department of Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
Thu, Aug 19 | 6:30–7:30 pm
Register on Zoom
FRED MOTEN works in the Department of Performance Studies in the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He is interested in social movement, aesthetic experiment and the poetics of black study. Over the last thirty years, Moten has addressed this concern as part of the Harris Moten Quartet, Moved by the Motion, Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective, the Institute for Physical Sociology, the Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy, and the Exodus Reading Group; and in collaboration with Arika, Renee Gladman, Zun Lee, Jennie C. Jones, Renée Green, George Lewis, Harmony Holiday, and Gerald Cleaver & Brandon Lopez, among many others; and in a number of books, the latest of which, written with his old friend and writing partner, Stefano Harney, is All Incomplete (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2021).
Valerie Cassel Oliver is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Since joining VMFA in 2017, she has expanded the museum’s holdings of African American art and curated exhibitions such as Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen, Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South, and most recently The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse. Prior to VMFA, she spent sixteen years at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas, where she was senior curator. She was director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000, she was one of six curators selected to organize the Biennial for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.