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Feb 8, 2023

Make sure to check out Ayo's website and TEAR SUTURE SCAB Film below.

Ayo Jackson will be having a screening next Saturday, February 18th from 2-5 pm at PRATT.

BIO | 
New York-based multidisciplinary artist Ayo Jackson (b. 1978) has extensive experience in dance and maintains a body-based visual practice. Originally from North Carolina, Jackson graduated with her BFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). A Princess Grace award winner, Jackson established her artistic career with The Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company, continuing with the French contemporary ballet company, BalletPreliocaj. After living in Europe, Jackson returned to NYC performing in JulieTaymor's Turn Off the Dark (Spiderman on Broadway). Jackson continued to assist Bill T. Jones while producing a body of visual artwork, which led to her participation in several gallery shows and exhibitions. Jackson recently finished her directorial film debut, Tear Suture Scab. She holds a Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2018). Most recently, Jackson was awarded UNCSA's 2022 Artrepreneur Award.

I enter the crevices of race and gender; within this contentious space is humanity calling for radical healing...

After two decades of dancing professionally, I desired to expand my practice of performance. This transformation is an interdisciplinary exploration with movement and forms foundational to the work. I died to the artist who solely expressed herself through movement, to now include text, sculpture, image and video, and healing practices. I undertake a body-based visual practice to engage my observations on race and gender. These explorations forced my dancing to shift into an expanded artistic response themed on healing the severed Black psyche. By using fantasy, I transform ideologies and reconfigure history to resolve urgent concerns of the current racial climate, hoping to redefine a culture that is mired in a paradoxical feeling of "other"

This font asks the viewer to detangle the history of black bodies, and their associations with spelling/education, a legacy fraught with the criminalization of education for the Black person in America before the Civil War. The font demands the viewer’s willingness to oscillate between the actual words and the silhouette. Interestingly, in many versions of the story of the Tar Baby, the "tar baby" is often in a female form. An inanimate object representing the black female is all too familiar of a storyline descending from the practice of minstrelsy."TAR BABY CODE allows me to be flawed and indiscriminate......reckless even”-Ayo 

TEAR SUTURE SCAB (TSS) uses The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries hanging in the Met Cloisters as the theoretical framework to parallel the historical atrocities faced by Black Americans. TSS is a short artistic film where a Unicorn, named Suki and her sassy shadow Shade, serve as our guides through the absurd and bizarre escape from notions of oppression. Suki, with the capacity and desire to resurrect black bodies, reevaluates the meaning of 'hero,' while her shadow, Shade, prioritizes self-preservation as a means of resistance. TEAR SUTURE SCAB permits us to use the alchemy of the Unicorn horn as both tool to heal and a weapon to protect - forgiving yet not forgetting. 


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