On Art + Music's Enduring Love Affair and the Practice of Solange
A Reflection for Artslant.
"This more recent example is one of many that demonstrates how musicians have been claiming space and strolling into the physical and intellectual spaces of Visual Art, usually through their everyday relationships with and proximity to visual artists, filmmakers, and performance artists. And artists sometimes do the same—lending their ideas and aesthetics to musicians through the visuals that surround the sound. Even the language becomes shared between them. We can describe a visual artist’s process by waxing poetic around how they create rhythm through improvisation, how the colors they use cause a visual vibration, or the ways in which artists sample and remix from the great wells of history and visual culture. We can talk about a song as a complex collage with gritty texture, and then interrogate the alignment with or divergence from current or classic approaches to composition.
In many ways, fluid maneuvering around distinguishing lines contradicts how we’re taught to define, sort, and categorize ideas for the sake of communication and education. Once we begin to move outside of the classroom or other spaces that are in the business of organizing thought and information, it becomes clear that the world doesn’t operate so neatly. The dividing lines and boxes are permeable and they dissolve, suggesting that they may have always been unstable or an illusion. As the lines disappear we are asked to unlearn our self-imposed limitations and confines.
Solange is of this tribe—one that demands and promotes an expanded understanding of art’s definitions and refuses to follow any rules that interrupt the frequency she’s operating on. Although she may not have planned it this way, art has taken permanent residence in her practice; the cover of the album True was created with artist Mickalene Thomas, her hair has been styled by photographer and masterful hair braider Shani Crowe, and the videos that she and her husband directed were infused with the cinematographic eye of Arthur Jafa. The past year has taken her from the stages of Pitchfork, Afropunk, Essence Festival, Panorama, Saturday Night Live, the Kennedy Center, and Radio City Music Hall to the galleries and auditoria of the Pérez Art Museum, Menil Collection, Guggenheim Museum, Tate Modern, and soon the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, which was founded by artist Donald Judd."
Read the complete essay here...
Photo Credits, top to bottom:
Stage view, MCA Talk: Solange Knowles, MCA Chicago, September 13, 2017, Photo: Alice Feldt, © MCA Chicago.
All other photos from Solange performances and videos, courtesy of the artist's Instagram.