May 22, 2015-June 28, 2015, 12:00 pm-6:00 pmHosted by momentaart at 56 Bogart
Justin Randolph Thompson
in collaboration with Bradly Dever Treadaway and Jason Thompson
featuring Daniel Warren
May 22 – June 28, 2015
Opening reception + performance: Friday, May 22, 7-9PM
Momenta Art is pleased to present a solo-exhibition by Justin Randolph Thompson in collaboration with Bradly Dever Treadaway and Jason Thompson. For the past ten years, Thompson has created an ambitious and far-reaching body of work that has consisted of community performance, live music, installation and video, interweaving a series of tropes that refer to historical anecdotes concerning cross-continental African experience, including African Americans’ participation in the Spanish Civil War, civil rights activism, quilting, jazz performance, minstrel entertainment, and the shoeshine trade. Through his works, Thompson attempts to invert pre-existing aesthetic hierarchies by de-contextualizing and refining the tropes “from below” to the point of attaining superficial elegance.
For the exhibition Moldy Figs, Thompson presents a new sculptural installation, a multi-seat shoeshine/merry-go-round platform featuring a community performance, in which the artist gold-leafs participants’ shoes, accompanied with a hybrid music performance that incorporates classical and jazz genres. The rotating sculptural installation induces a feeling of infinity, exploring issues of labor and spiritual ascension through repetitive physical movement. The accompanying performance and videos are created in collaboration with composer/jazz saxophonist Jason Thompson, and multi-media artist Bradly Dever Treadaway.
(Text written by Kikuko Tanaka)
Justin Randolph Thompson is a new media artist born in Peekskill, NY in 1979. Living between Italy and the U.S. since 2001, he has exhibited internationally and participated in numerous residencies in the U.S. and in Europe. A recipient of the 2013 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a 2013 Visual Art Grant from the Fundacion Marcelino Botin, a 2013 Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park, a Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant, the Open Studio Fellowship at Franconia Sculpture Park, and a Jerome Fellowship at Franconia Sculpture Park, Thompson has exhibited in spaces including the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, Villa Romana in Florence, La Tache Galleryin Barcelona, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Reina Sofia. His work seeks to deepen the discussions around cultural and racial stratification and hierarchical organization by outlining a complex, hybrid and non-linear connection to history and sociopolitical discourse.
Jason Thompson is a third generation jazz musician from Peekskill, NY. He began his professional saxophone career in 1996 when he gave up a scholarship to the University of Tennessee and started a six-year stint on the road with Knoxville-based, nine member rock/R&B group Gran Torino. The group toured nationally, made several recordings, and enjoyed some college radio success before disbanding. Thompson returned to the UTK to study jazz under many great professors including Jerry Coker, and Donald Brown. Thompson’s choice of the baritone saxophone as his main voice puts him in a smaller circle of the saxophone family, but it’s his bass saxophone playing that makes him truly unique. He recently founded the band Frog and Toad’s Dixie Quartet. Thompson performs and composes regularly and has collaborated with his younger brother on over 50 projects.
Bradly Dever Treadaway is a Brooklyn based artist and teacher utilizing lens-based image making, sculpture, installation and performance to comment on the breakdown of intergenerational communication. His work revolves around fleeting family histories visualized through archival interventions and elevated domestic rituals while questioning material significance within the photographic medium. Treadaway works with family and public archives, recontextualizing the archive to serve as form, medium, subject matter and concept. Treadaway is a Fulbright Scholar to Italy and works as both a Faculty member and the Digital Media Coordinator at The International Center of Photography in New York City. His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art, Center for Photography at Woodstock, The International Center of Photography, The Mobile Museum of Art, The Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence, Italy, and the Lishui Museum of Photography in China. His film/video work has been screened at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the National Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, Union Docs, Anthology Film Archives, the Nashville Film Festival, the Coney Island Film Festival, and at the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Scene: Brooklyn.
The Exhibition Moldy Figs is, in part, made possible through generous support of The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation