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Installation View of Rashid Johnson, Plateaus, 2014. Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

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Installation View of Rashid Johnson, Plateaus, 2014. Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

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exhibition

Provocations: Rashid Johnson

Oct 17, 2018 – Oct 13, 2019

Gallery 4 Ι True Farr Luck Gallery

Now extended through October 13!

To launch the ICA’s annual commission series, Provocations, artist Rashid Johnson (b. 1977) will create a new, large-scale work that responds to the soaring, light-filled expanse of the ICA’s top-floor exhibition space, the True Farr Luck Gallery. The Provocations series takes its name from Steven Holl’s design intention for the ICA’s top-floor gallery space, which he calls “a provocation for artists to engage.” The True Farr Luck Gallery features a sculptural ceiling, cathedral-like acoustics, and ample natural light that filters through opaque glass.

Rashid Johnson conceived this new installation, Monument, as a site of both contemplation and collaboration. Visitors are invited to move around the work and to immerse themselves in its textures and details. Throughout its stay at the ICA, Monument will be activated by live performances created in response to the work.

Reaching upward, Monument’s form might suggest unfinished modern architecture, Minimal sculpture, or ancient temples. It is constructed from a steel grid, a choice both practical—simple, modular, strong—and loaded with meaning. Grids often have been used in art to create visual order. Here they also might recall cages and cells, or perhaps film stills: black-framed, precisely-arranged vignettes, sequenced to form a larger composition.

The structure brims with materials that create a collage of associations and contrasts. Johnson has drawn on sources including global art history and philosophy; American literature, film, and music with an emphasis on African-American history and culture; even tropical botany. It also includes rough-hewn sculptures made from one of Johnson’s signature materials, shea butter, which is ground from a West African nut to form a natural skin-care product. These choices speak to the power of Johnson’s creative miscegenation. Drawing on cross-cultural sources, he invites audiences to give the mix a meaning of their own.

Location also is important. Monument only can be reached by going up—by ascending through the Markel Center. That ascension might represent spiritual or emotional uplift as well as the  acquisition of power and dominion. The importance of site extends beyond the gallery to geography. This is Johnson’s first major project south of the Mason-Dixon line. As a Black man who grew up in Chicago, with family roots in the South, Johnson’s choice to create a work titled Monument in Richmond, at this moment, is complex and significant. He hopes that his work will be understood in relation to his multifaceted identity—artist, intellectual, son, father, Black, male, cosmopolitan, seeker, maker, collaborator.

Curated by ICA Chief Curator Stephanie Smith.

Upcoming Events


performance

Provocations Performance: Christine Wyatt

Free, No Tickets Required

Sep 20, 2019 – Sep 21, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Luis Vasquez La Roche

Free, No Tickets Required

Sep 27, 2019 – Sep 28, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Chino Amobi

Free, No Tickets Required

Oct 4, 2019 – Oct 5, 2019

performance

Provocations: Closing Performances

Free, No Tickets Required

Oct 11, 2019 – Oct 12, 2019

exhibition

Provocations: Rashid Johnson

Oct 17, 2018 – Oct 13, 2019

event

Monumental Care: Plant Giveaway

Sunday, Oct 13

12:00 PM–5:00 PM

Rashid Johnson, Monument, 2018. Mixed-media installation including books, ceramics, electronics, lights, shea butter, paint, performance, plants, soil, steel, textiles, wood, and video. Commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University with support from Hauser + Wirth.

Rashid Johnson, Monument, 2018. Mixed-media installation including books, ceramics, electronics, lights, shea butter, paint, performance, plants, soil, steel, textiles, wood, and video. Commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University with support from Hauser + Wirth. Photo: David Hale

Rashid Johnson, Monument, 2018. Mixed-media installation including books, ceramics, electronics, lights, shea butter, paint, performance, plants, soil, steel, textiles, wood, and video. Commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University with support from Hauser + Wirth.

Rashid Johnson, Monument, 2018. Mixed-media installation including books, ceramics, electronics, lights, shea butter, paint, performance, plants, soil, steel, textiles, wood, and video. Commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University with support from Hauser + Wirth. Photo: David Hale

Rashid Johnson, Monument, 2018. Mixed-media installation including books, ceramics, electronics, lights, shea butter, paint, performance, plants, soil, steel, textiles, wood, and video. Commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University with support from Hauser + Wirth.

Rashid Johnson, Monument, 2018. Mixed-media installation including books, ceramics, electronics, lights, shea butter, paint, performance, plants, soil, steel, textiles, wood, and video. Commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University with support from Hauser + Wirth. Photo: David Hale

Close-up of a flowering plant sitting on top of an old television. Part of Rashid Johnson's

Rashid Johnson, Monument, 2018. Mixed-media installation including books, ceramics, electronics, lights, shea butter, paint, performance, plants, soil, steel, textiles, wood, and video. Commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University with support from Hauser + Wirth. Photo: David Hale

Upcoming

performance

Provocations Performance: Christine Wyatt

Free, No Tickets Required

Sep 20, 2019 – Sep 21, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Luis Vasquez La Roche

Free, No Tickets Required

Sep 27, 2019 – Sep 28, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Chino Amobi

Free, No Tickets Required

Oct 4, 2019 – Oct 5, 2019

performance

Provocations: Closing Performances

Free, No Tickets Required

Oct 11, 2019 – Oct 12, 2019

exhibition

Provocations: Rashid Johnson

Oct 17, 2018 – Oct 13, 2019

event

Monumental Care: Plant Giveaway

Sunday, Oct 13

12:00 PM–5:00 PM

Past Provocations Performances


performance

Provocations Performance: Kenneka Cook and Calvin Brown

Free, No Tickets Required

Sep 13, 2019 – Sep 14, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: For The Fem In You Festival

Free, No Tickets Required

Sep 6, 2019 – Sep 7, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: First African Baptist Church Contemporary Choir

Free, No Tickets Required

Jul 12, 2019 – Jul 13, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Cora Harvey Armstrong

PERFORMANCE CANCELLED

performance

Provocations Performance: Victor X. Haskins

Free, No Tickets Required

Jul 5, 2019 – Jul 6, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Shy Lennox

Free, no tickets required

Jun 28, 2019 – Jun 29, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Four Musick

Free, no tickets required

Jun 21, 2019 – Jun 22, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Marcus Tenney

Free, no tickets required

Jun 14, 2019 – Jun 15, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: RVA Dance Collective

Free, no tickets required

Jun 7, 2019 – Jun 8, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Sandy Williams IV

Free, no tickets required

May 31, 2019 – Jun 1, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: RVA Rap Elite

Free, no tickets required

May 24, 2019 – May 25, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: David Dominique

Free, no tickets required

May 17, 2019 – May 18, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Dylan Languell

Free, no tickets required

May 10, 2019 – May 11, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Paul Rucker

Free, no tickets required

May 3, 2019 – May 4, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: American Wild Ensemble

Free, no tickets required

Apr 26, 2019 – Apr 27, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: American Youth Harp Ensemble

Free, no tickets required

Apr 19, 2019 – Apr 20, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: BareSOUL

Free, no tickets required

Apr 12, 2019 – Apr 13, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: River City Poets

Free, no tickets required

Apr 5, 2019 – Apr 6, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Trapcry

Free, no tickets required

Mar 29, 2019 – Mar 30, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Tavishi feat. Womajich Dialyseiz

Free, no tickets required

Mar 22, 2019 – Mar 23, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Poetry Out Loud/Teens with a Purpose

Free, no tickets required

Mar 15, 2019 – Mar 16, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Cora Harvey Armstrong

Free, no tickets required

Mar 8, 2019 – Mar 9, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Victor X. Haskins

Free, No Tickets Required

Mar 1, 2019 – Mar 2, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Broad Street Ramblers

Free, no tickets required

Feb 22, 2019 – Feb 23, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: RVA Dance Collective

Free, no tickets required

Feb 15, 2019 – Feb 16, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Duron Chavis

Free, no tickets required

Feb 8, 2019 – Feb 9, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Cole Hicks

Free, no tickets required

Feb 1, 2019 – Feb 2, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Calvin Presents

Free, no tickets required

Jan 25, 2019 – Jan 26, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: First African Baptist Church Contemporary Choir

Free, No Tickets Required

Jan 18, 2019 – Jan 19, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Michelle Dodd

Free, no tickets required

Jan 11, 2019 – Jan 12, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Lyricist Lounge

Free, no tickets required

Jan 4, 2019 – Jan 5, 2019

performance

Provocations Performance: Owl Rare

Free, no tickets required

Dec 28, 2018 – Dec 29, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: Cora Harvey Armstrong

Free, no tickets required

Dec 21, 2018 – Dec 22, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: Cole Hicks

Free, no tickets required

Dec 14, 2018 – Dec 15, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: Marcus Tenney

Free, no tickets required

Dec 7, 2018 – Dec 8, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: David Dominique

Free, no tickets required

Nov 30, 2018 – Dec 1, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: Michael Demps

Free, no tickets required

Nov 23, 2018 – Nov 24, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: Kenneka Cook

Free, no tickets required

Nov 16, 2018 – Nov 17, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: The Cheats Movement

Free, no tickets required

Nov 9, 2018 – Nov 10, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: Formula: Symbiosis

Free, No Tickets Required

Nov 2, 2018 – Nov 3, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: Victor X. Haskins

Free, No Tickets Required

Oct 26, 2018 – Oct 27, 2018

performance

Provocations Performance: First African Baptist Church Contemporary Choir

Free, No Tickets Required

Oct 19, 2018 – Oct 20, 2018

event

Opening Events // Fall 2018 Exhibitions

Oct 16, 2018 – Oct 17, 2018