Entries in Andre Afro-Futurism (8)


ARTE: Dave Lewis


Twice Remembered #2 Lewis attended the Polytechnic of Central London (now University of Westminster) to study film and photography in the mid 1980s and later worked for the community based Blackfriars Photography Project in South East London.

Recent exhibitions and screenings include: Once Removed, Venice Biennal (2011); Field Work, ArtSway Gallery (2010); Photo-ID, Norwich Forum (2009); AfterShock, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (2007). Lewis's work has appeared in a number of publications around themes of race, identity and representation. His work Untitled (Royal Anthropological Institute, London),1995, entered the Arts Council Collection in 2001. He has exhibited widely in both solo and group shows including the Photographer's Gallery, London; MOMA, Oxford; Recontres d'Arles, France.

Lewis continues working as a commercial photographer and gives talks and workshops in galleries and schools as well as lecturing in further and higher education institutions. 

A continual thread through my self-initiated projects are themes around anthropology and photography. The exhibition (a joint commission by Autograph and The Photographer’s Gallery, London) examine museum sites and spaces in which ethnographic photographs are archived and classified. These images seek to contest the space in which they are housed by challenging the institutional authority by animating the ‘subject’ of the archives. 


Contact Sheet: 45's Singles Collection 2009

14 copy copy

Andre S. Belcher - Contributor


ARTE: Lorraine O'Grady

Installation view, “What should we do?” Lorraine O’Grady: Critical Interventions, INTAR Gallery, NYC, 1991


Lorraine O’Grady is an artist and critic whose installations, performances, and texts address issues of diaspora, hybridity, and black female subjectivity. The New York Times in 2006 called her “one of the most interesting American conceptual artists around.” And in 2007 her landmark performance, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, was made one of the entry points to WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, the first-ever museum exhibit of this major art movement.

Born in Boston in 1934 to West Indian parents, O’Grady came to art late, not making her first works until 1980. After majoring in economics and literature, she’d had several careers: as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. government, a successful literary and commercial translator, even a rock critic. Ultimately, her broad background contributed to a distanced and critical view of the art world when she entered it and to an unusually eclectic attitude toward artmaking. In O’Grady’s work, the idea tends to come first, and then a medium is employed to best execute it. Although its intellectual content is rigorous and political, the work is generally marked by unapologetic beauty and elegance.

Artist Lecture, Buffalo University, 2010 - “The Both/And,” powerpoint lecture. O’Grady provides an informal but full overview of her work, followed by a pointed question-and-answer period. HD: VIDEO


BodyGround, 1991: “Gaze,” black-and-white photomontage quadriptychBodyGround shorthand for Body Is the Ground of My Experience, refers to the photomontages produced by O’Grady for her first one-person exhibit, at INTAR Gallery, NYC, Jan 21–Feb 22, 1991. The phrase doesn’t name a series — the works were unrelated — but rather the concern shaping O’Grady’s writing, thinking, and art-making at the time. The photomontages reprised several ideas from Rivers, First Draft in still form. Her move from performance to the wall had financial, personal, and theoretical motives. The work was growing both more direct and more complex and needed repeated viewings.

During her absence from the art world, O’Grady had become concerned about postmodernism’s over-simplifications which she felt re-located subjectivity away from the body to history in a way conveniently serving those in power. For while the body undoubtedly received history’s effects and was shaped by them, it was also, in an excess, the location of resistance. To make the point, her new photomontages — made the old-fashioned way just before Photoshop — eschewed both her earlier work’s layered beauty and postmodern photography’s dry formalism. Instead, they employed a psychological literalness reminiscent of Surrealism. In the Gaze and Dream quadriptychs, the bodies schematically enact both subjectivity’s stunting by history and latent resistance to it. And a group of three images, including The Strange Taxi and The Fir-Palm, employ a black body as a literal ground on which history acts but is unexpectedly modified.

O’Grady had not anticipated the intensely negative response, especially from white male viewers, to The Clearing, a diptych showing black and white bodies in what director John Waters calls “the last taboo.” One white male Harvard professor told her it was difficult to look at because it showed “how erotic domination is.” During this period, O’Grady experienced more success, especially with female audiences, via writings such as “Olympia’s Maid” and the articles in Artforum.

“The Clearing: or Cortez and La Malinche. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings"Cutting Out the New York Times  
other media 1977

Cutting Out The New York Times is a series of 26 “cut-out” or “found” newspaper poems made by O’Grady on successive Sundays, from June 5 to November 20, 1977. They were first exhibited to the public at Daniel Reich Temp. at the Chelsea Hotel, in March 2006 at the urging of curator Nick Mauss. The slideshow here contains four of the poems in their entirety.

 After graduating from college in the late 50s with a major in economics, O’Grady worked for five years as a young intelligence officer for the Departments of Labor and State, first on African and then on Latin American affairs. During that period, she was forced to read 10 national and international newspapers a day and — in the lead up to the Cuban Missile Crisis — three complete daily transcripts in Spanish of Cuban radio stations, as well as the endless overnight classified reports from agents in the field. It was a time, she’s written, when language “collapsed” for her, “melted into a gelatinous pool.” She soon quit her job as an intelligence analyst and began a roundabout journey into art.

1977 found her at SVA in New York, where her course in “Futurist, Dada and Surrealist Literature” attracted such students as John Sex, né John McLaughlin, Keith Haring, Kembra Pfahler, Luis Stand, and others. Cutting Out The New York Times was done in a moment of combined psychological and physical trauma (she’d just had a biopsy on her right breast which proved negative) and was accidentally begun while browsing the Sunday Times to make a thank-you collage for her doctor. She’d involuntarily wondered: what if, unlike Tzara and Breton’s random newspaper poems, she forced randomness back to meaning, rescued a personal sensibility from the public language that had swamped it, might she not get — rather than Plath and Sexton’s confessional poetry which made the private public — a “counter-confessional” poetry that could make the public private again? But with the rescue act accomplished, she forgot about the cutouts until Nick Mauss’s studio visit 30 years later.

Artist Statememt: Re Cutting Out the New York Times, 2006

Andre S. Belcher - Contributor


ARTE: Delilah Montoya

Delilah Montoya

Of primary importance is my view of art as a serious and responsible vehicle for exploring issues of Chicana ideology. In my own evolving critical study, I question my identity as a Chicana in occupied America, and articulate the experience of a minority woman. I work to understand the depth of my spiritual, political, emotional and cultural icons, realizing that in exploring the topography of my conceptual homeland, Aztlan, I am searching for the configurations of my own vision.

"A social understanding has always been that a woman is not to witness, demonstrate or indulge in acts of violence. But these women, determined to box, turn their backs on these opinions." Delilah Montoya

Delilah Montoya - Smile now, Cry Later 2008 Screenprint 16x20 Edition of 46

The title of Delilah Montoya’s print, Smile Now, Cry Later, comes from an old barrio saying that refers to a person’s feelings while they’re doing something they shouldn’t. Initially, one will enjoy the feeling and smile, but eventually the consequences will cause one to “cry later.

Combining the artistry of photographer Delilah Montoya with an informative introduction written by professor and librarian María Teresa Márquez, Women Boxers: The New Warriors explores the world of las malcriadas, those women who challenge society's views of femininity, violence, and physicality.

Delilah Montoya was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1955. Art is synonymous with her quest to define herself as a Chicana living the perpetual tensions of a minority woman in the United States. Committed to exploring her Hispanic roots, Montoya has explored the icons of New Mexico, including the religious heritage of her "penitente" grandfather from the Las Vegas area. Her art weaves together her spiritual, political and emotional visions. Many of her images are intriguing assemblages comprised of painting, printmaking and photography.

Montoya has lectured at the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe, The Albuquerque Museum, The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, and the Wight Gallery at the University of California in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited throughout New Mexico, Texas, New York, California, Georgia and Mexico. Several of her pieces were in the monumental traveling exhibit "Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation."

(Left) Pasion 1993 - collotype on paper image: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation(Right) Los Jovenes, 1993 - collotype on paper image and plate: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation

Delilah Montoya, Associate Professor

Photography/Digital Media: The University of Houston School of Art

(Her education) Associate Degree, Metropolitan Technical College; BA, University of New Mexico; MA, University of New Mexico; MFA, University of New Mexico

El Mistereio Triste #2, 1993 Gelatin silver print

Professor Montoya came to the University of Houston 2001 after teaching at both Smith College and Hampshire College for three years. Her work is grounded in the experiences of the Southwest and brings together a multiplicity of syncretic forms and practices from those of Aztec, Mexico and Spain, to cross-border vernacular traditions, all of which are shaded by contemporary American customs and values.

Montoya's numerous projects investigate cultural phenomena, always addressing and often confronting viewers' assumptions. Women Boxers: The New Warriors, a book project featuring a collection of portraits is such a project. Funded in part by the University of Houston Small Grants Program and Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County and was published though Arte Publico Press. The work was first exhibited during Fotofest 2006 at Project Row House, and later it traveled to Los Angeles, Santa Fe and Dallas where Charles Dee Mitchell reviewed it for Art in America.

Montoya's work has traveled with the International Center for Photography exhibition "Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self" and "Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum." Her work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institute, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her gallery affiliations are Andrew Smith Gallery, Patricia Correia Gallery, Photographs Do Not Bend and Redbud Gallery.









Andre S. Belcher - Contributor


ARTE: IN/FLUX - Mediatrips from the African World

IN/FLUX - Mediatrips from the African World

IN/FLUX is a series of three DVDs. Each DVD is a compilation of experimental films and videos from the African world. The violence and the pleasures, the contradictions, fears and desires of a planet shaped by the postcolonial condition, the present-future of our common humanity in a global, 21st century system shot through with radical change: these are the foci of IN/FLUX, addressed from Africa and her diasporas by creators who reject easy approaches or answers.

The works included in the first IN/FLUX DVD centre on the dual theme of movement and displacement. They consider shifts in time, place and psyche, in imaginaries and (pre)conceptions, played out on urban stages deployed as laboratories for the elaboration of alternative perceptual fields. A range of genres is represented: documentary gazes and Afrofuturist takes, spy camera zoom-ins and travels through virtual landscapes, (mock) music-video and horror-flick aesthetics. The result is a (media) trip through multiple universes: inner worlds, dreamscapes and in your face reality checks.

IN/FLUX is a partnership between two cutting-edge entities: SPARCK (Space for Pan-African Research, Creation and Knowledge / The Africa Centre – Cape Town, South Africa) and Lowave (an independent film label based in Paris, France). IN/FLUX # 1 is curated by Dominique Malaquais, Cédric Vincent and Silke Schmickl

10 Film(s), Interviews, Bios, Filmographies, runtime 104 minutes, PAL/NTSC, ALL ZONES, stereo, 4:3/16:9, Booklet text by Dominique Malaquais.



Andre S. Belcher - Contributor


ARTE: Gen Doy x Art Theory Scholarship

Guinevere (Gen) Doy

Gen Doy”s art encompasses drawing, photography, video, painting, installation and sound recording. She is also the author of books dealing with issues of “race”, gender, sexuality and the politics of representation. 

Doy, Gen (1995). Seeing and Consciousness: Women, Class and Representation. Berg Publishers, Oxford and Washington D.C. 205pp, 54 black and white illustrations.


"My research continues to interrogate the relationship of gender, “race”, class and sexuality to visual culture." - Gen Doy










Selected Works:

Roots [ Video ]

A sound and still-image piece exploring various connotations of roots - as vegetables, magic and sexual potions, buried objects, food, cultural symbols, and erotic objects buried, dormant or growing. Historical and classical texts are collaged with more contemporary material. 


The Works

Doy works with still and moving images, written and spoken texts, in order to construct narratives that are not linear, but suggestive, evocative, and open to creative interpretation by the viewer and listener. She is interested in myth, history and the many ways in which the historical can collide and interact with the contemporary. She has recently been working on ways in which her work can give a voice to, and make visible, people and things who have been ignored, marginalised, or simply not seen. The voice as an art medium has now become increasingly important in her work, and she attempts to convey something of its sensual and seductive potential. Her future projects will engage with the relationship of images to sound and text in an increasingly creative manner. However sometimes she prefers the voice(s) to stand alone.



Black Visual Culture: Modernity and Post-Modernity


Black Visual Culture presents a critical introduction to the work of contemporary black American and British artists, including Chris Ofili, Isaac Julien, Keith Piper, Rasheed Areen, Robert Mapplethorpe, Roshini Kempadoo, and Anish Kapoor. The central aim of the book is to show how black artists have been and continue to be influenced by the politics, cultures, societies, economies and histories in which they live and work. Using illustrated case studies as introductions, the book goes on to discuss and critique the key debates around modernism and post-modernism, as well as the major issues, literature and theory around black photography and art. One important element is its discussion of cultural criticism of the foremost writers in the field, such as Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Kobena Mercer and Homi K. Bhaba.













Picturing the Self: Changing Views of the Subject in Visual Culture


Ideas of selfhood, from Descartes to postmodern notions of the fragmented and de-centred self, have been crucial to the visual arts. Gen Doy explores this relationship, primarily in relation to contemporary art but also going back to the early modern period and Holbein's Ambassadors. She argues that the importance of subjectivity for art goes far beyond self-portraits, exploring the self and identity--both the artist's and the viewer's--and seeks a way of thinking the self that goes beyond both Cartesian and postmodern approaches to subjecthood. She looks too at work and consumption; self-presentation; photography and the theatre of the self; the marginalized--beggars and asylum seekers--and "the real me." A wide range of artists, including Claude Cahun, Tracey Emin, Jeff Wall, Barbara Kruger, Eugene Palmer and Karen Knorr are discussed, as well as historical material from earlier periods.













Guinevere (Gen) Doy - Emeritus Professor of History and Theory of Visual Culture, De Montfort University

Currently PhD Examiner at University of Gloucester; University of Birmingham; Royal Holloway College University of London; University of Wolverhampton; Dartington College of Art; and University of Wales

Research Groups: Fine Art Practices. Photographic Studies and Creative Imaging. Subject Area: History and Theory of Visual Culture


Doy’s creative work mobilises an extensive knowledge of art history and critical theory, and she has worked for many years in the field of visual culture, as a lecturer, writer, and curator. She has lectured at De Montfort University Leicester, The Open University, London College of Fashion, ICA London, Hayward Gallery, Ruskin College of Art, Birmingham University, Museum of Modern Art Bordeaux, The National Gallery London, The Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation Athens, and many other educational and artistic institutions.

As well as pursuing her own artistic practice, she has supervised and examined  Ph.D. theses in fine art and photography, and in art history and visual culture studies.

In 2011, Doy completed a Postgraduate Diploma (with distinction) in Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art,/Central St. Martin’s London, where she continues to develop her work. She has also studied at the Slade School of Fine Art.


Andre S. Belcher - Contributor


ARTE: Melissa Scherrer

Melissa Scherrer - Painting on photograph

Bullet Proof - Chromogenic Print, 2011


Andre S. Belcher - Contributor


ARTE: Amber Robles-Gordon

Emerging Voice & Vision

Introspective:Art For Joy, Love and Life

Amber Robles-Gordon received some blunt criticism during her graduate studies when she was told she couldn’t seem to separate herself from her artwork. Robles-Gordon became introspective, and identified why she’s so entrenched in her art.

Community Voice Project is a collaboration with the Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts & Sciences and the University Library. American University’s School of Communication and College of Arts and Sciences.

Amber Robles-Gordon

Amber Robles-Gordon is a mixed media artist. Her preferred medium is collage and assemblage. She also works with pastels, acrylic, watercolors, photography and oil paint sticks. She then merges these mediums into to her collages.

Her work is representational of her experiences and the paradoxes within the female experience. She focuses on fusing found objects to convey her own personal memories, inspired by nature, womanhood and her belief in recycling energy and materials.

Robles-Gordon has over fifteen years of exhibiting and art educational experience. She completed her Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University in December 2010, where she has received annual awards and accolades for her artwork. She has exhibited in California, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, New York, Ohio, Spain and throughout the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.

Robles-Gordon has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and Center of African American History and other organizations to teach workshops about creating paper mosaics and collages. She was commissioned by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 2010 to create a mural for the Windows in to DC project at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Most recently, she has been granted an apprenticeship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, D.C. Creates Public Arts Program.

Cosmic Black III, mixed media on canvas, 22 x 22 x 22"


Artist Statement [ Excerpt ]

My artistic compositions reflect my gender and are also a visual representation of my hybridism: a fusion of my ethnic, cultural, and social experiences. I intentionally impose colors, imagery, and materials that evoke femininity, tranquility, and positive concepts with the intent of transcending or balancing a specific form. I associate working with light, color, and energy as a positive means to focus on the healing power found within all of us.

We function in a world, where change is the only constant. Everything in our universe will and has to change, be used, recycled and/or maintained. In order to evolve we constantly have to reassess and redefine what we value and how we manage, appreciate, and maintain our resources. Through my work I seek to examine the parallels between how humanity perceives its greatest resources, man/woman power verses how we treat our possessions and environment.



Amber Robles-Gordon works in a studio full of the accumulations necessary to create her work. Bits of fabric, tile, beads, string, ribbons, and wire are collected and organized, ready to become mixed media wall oriented pieces. Some of her works are structured and geometric, while others are masses of vibrant complexity organized around basic shapes such as an eye, the DNA helix or a rising wingspan. These are works that entice the viewer to look in as well as at, to experience fully a carefully controlled chaos and all the beautiful paradoxes encompassed therein.


Andre S. Belcher - Contributor


ARTE: Julia Raynham

We are happy to have a new contributor for ARTE: we've been following Andre S. Belcher and his interesting observations in contemporary art for a while now. When it comes to art Andre admits that he is only concerned with "The naked and unabashed truth."

Global Arts: Visual Arts - Experimental Film/Video

Julia Raynham
Born 1966 (Cape Town, South Africa)

Julia Raynham’s work melds choreography, theatre, poetry, video, sound, performance and improv, in a distinctly experimental vein. After studying architecture and music, she trained extensively as a sangoma (link beeen the ancestral and human worlds, specialist of herbal medicine, counsel in matters of psychological disturbance in Zulu, Swazi, Xhosa and Ndebele communities of Southern Africa). An ex-member of key collectives on the South Africa scene (Honeymoon Suites; The Mothertongue Project) and a writer (We Tell Our Old Songs: San Music of Southern Africa, with Marlene Winberg, 2004; ilikemagazine), she is the founder of Resonance Bazaar, a multidisciplinary platform for the development of artistic partnerships. Among her most renowned works are: Return to Traveller (The Edge, Cape Town, 2009); 21st Century Animal (7th edition of Rencontres Chorégraphiques de l’Afrique et de l’Océan Indien, 2008); and A New Body Will Be Assembled...More Brilliant Than Before (Below:Video)

Video: A collaboration between Julia Raynham and James Tayler

Andre S. Belcher - Contributor