“Jim Chuchu’s Invocations” opens at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art Wednesday, June 21, and will remain on display until June 24, 2018. The museum is the first institution to acquire and display Kenyan multimedia artist Jim Chuchu’s mesmerizing suite of video projections, Invocation: The Severance of Ties (2015) and Invocation: Release (2015). The exhibition is located in the museum’s Points of View Gallery.
Curated by Karen E. Milbourne, the two distinct videos loop in succession and follow the structure of initiation rituals. Surrounded by Chuchu’s pulsing house beats and evocative imagery, viewers are invited to contemplate the separations and releases that shape our individual and collective identities. “‘Jim Chuchu’s Invocations’ is politically charged, visually seductive and technically sophisticated. These works of art are a legacy of our times and a tribute to the vision of a uniquely multifaceted artist,” said Melbourne.
To see more of the artist’s work visit: www.jimchuchu.com
About the Artist
Jim Chuchu is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya. His range of work includes films, photography and music. Chuchu’s first short film, Homecoming, premiered at 2013 Durban International Film followed by screening at the Toronto Film Festival, the Santa Barbara international Film festival and the Berlin International Film Festival. Stories of Our Life, his most recent film, which recounts true stories of LGBTQ life in Kenya, has received international recognition and has been recently selected for inclusion in the Documentary Fortnight 2015: MOMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media.
Chuchu’s photographs debuted in the exhibition, “Precarious Imaging: Visibility and Media surrounding African Queerness.” at RAW Material Company, a space for art and culture in Dakar, part of Dak’Art 2014. His video art was featured in “Senses of Time,” an exhibition co-curated by Milbourne and Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Polly Nooter Roberts at The Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College in New York. The exhibition examined how time is experienced and produced by the body in relation to time-based arts.
Gallery Tours for “Jim Chuchu’s Invocations”
Karen Milbourne will lead a tour to explore Chuchu’s work Sunday, June 25, at 2 p.m. in the museum’s POV gallery. The event is free and opens to the public, but space is limited.
“Jim Chuchu’s Invocations” is generously supported by Reggie Van Lee.
About the National Museum of African Art
The National Museum of African Art is the nation’s premier museum dedicated exclusively to the collection, conservation, study and exhibition of Africa’s arts across time period, geography and medium. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. The museum is located at 950 Independence Avenue S.W., near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information, call (202) 633-4600 or visit the National Museum of African Art’s website. For general Smithsonian information, call (202) 633-1000.