Black Experimentalism - “Let Us Examine the State of Our Environment.”

"Art is Business" 
The specific question I want to press, is what are some ways we can define “black experimentalism while examining the state of our environment? Alpha M. Bruton  Join us on BlogTalkRadio for a candid conversation scheduled Monday, July 18th, 2016  11am, Call in to speak with the host (917) 889-7811

Jelisa M. Davis- Chicago State University Graduate BFA

In this exhibit Phantom Gallery Chicago curators Alpha Bruton, and Alan Emerson Hicks invited B. RaEl Ali, and Jelisa M. Davis new graduates and emerging Chicago artists as a feature, because each are presenting critical thought and expressing Modernism in their artwork. In their work they have thought  critically about black experimentalism and black Modernism,  and what that means in their practice.
Artist B. RaEl Ali

B. Ra-El Ali is an exceptional emerging artist who has exhibited his artwork at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Illinois, South Side Community Art Center, and 
 he is currently a resident artists and curator at the Hunter International Gallery.

Jelisa M. Davis work captures social phobic thoughts, emotions and behaviors prior to or during moments of social interaction. In 2016, Davis graduated from Chicago State University where she studied studio art and developed her enthusiasm for surrealism.

Areas of Investigation:
Modernism, like its successor, Postmodernism, is neither easily demarcated in terms of actual dates, nor is it easily defined. Much of what describes Modernism also describes Postmodernism. So, what use do we find in the terminology that supposes a distinction? We know, despite this slippage in terminology, however, that Modernism as an artistic movement—embraced by a range of practitioners in literature, music, and the visual arts—is often described as a “break” from, and a revolt against, Realism.

That we engage in a discussion not only about race and gender, but about societal attitudes about race and gender, and the relationship a Modernism that cannot be extracted from these attitudes and a black Modernism that emerged alongside and against them.  

The question I pose to B. Ra - El Ali because he is also a poet, and spoken word artist:
Who within the literary black tradition has (as well as, particularly, the visual arts, which is an area of cross-pollination in need of major investigation) made experimentalism more possible, and might we find some of those figures in the columns we call “canonical” or “traditional”? I want to think about poets whose work we might not consider experimental and see how the innovations in that work begin to shift the ground beneath what we think of as “black experimental.” 

The Hopwood Lecture, presented April 20, 2011
 Michigan Quarterly Review