Fahamu Pecou — Hard 2 Death

Exhibition

Painting

Fahamu Pecou
Hard 2 Death

Past: April 30 → May 28, 2011

Backslash gallery presents the first ever French exhibition of works by American artist Fahamu Pecou. Fahamu Pecou is known for his tireless multiple representations of Afro-American identity in all its forms, especially those linked to hip-hop culture.

During his 2010 residency at the McColl Center for Visual Arts in Charlotte (North Carolina), Fahamu Pecou created a collection of four series of works under the title Hard 2 Death.

All Falls Down, Second Childhood, Where My N-Words et Cock, Aim & Shoot train the spotlight on the identity of black men in modern-day American society. Along with the hard-won abolition of slavery, the black man developed a number of stereotypes tied into his need to carve out a place for himself while maintaining his own identity and cultural roots. This need has sometimes caused him to overplay these stereotypes, leading to a number of excesses as symbolized by hip-hop culture: masculine domination pushed to its limits, a permanent quest for financial success, distorted sexuality and the instrumentalization of women. The artist explains,

“The confusion and contradictions from the attempts to achieve elusive patriarchal masculinity can clearly be seen in the behaviors of young black men between the ages of 18-25. Ironically, this is also the period of black male development most often portrayed in the media. It is during this time that the young black man is at his most vulnerable. Feelings of powerlessness abound, he feels trapped. In his home as well as the world-at-large, he is constantly bombarded with the idea that he is inherently flawed. As a result, he places no value on his own life. His desperation is manifested in self-destructive behaviors, all behind the façade of bravery.”

Fahamu Pecou is questioning the idea of the boundary between self-protection and self-destruction. Each series of work offers some sort of an answer: the recent trend for trousers worn below the hips, conflicting attitudes, sex and violence, a return to childhood expressed in fashion and a taste for a certain type of car, and the relationship between men and women. The artist proffers his own definition of the permanent sense of violence felt by these young members of American society.

Fahamu Pecou’s work has been shown widely, especially at the Torrance Art Museum (California-2010) ; Bell-Roberts Gallery (Cape-Town-2009) ; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (Brooklyn-2008) ; Austin Museum of Art (Texas-2008) ; High Museum of Art (Atlanta-2005).

Fahamu Pecou is particularly active in the 2.0 sphere. He is also the instigator of numerous debates on the place of contemporary art in American culture, especially with his 15 Project, a program of discussions organized at art centers, museums and universities.

  • Opening Saturday, April 30, 2011 12 PM → 9 PM
Backslash Gallery Gallery
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The artist