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Louis Cameron: THIS IS AMERICA

October 22 @ 12:00 pm December 14 @ 7:00 pm

Cameron works in various media including painting, photography, and text based conceptual works. The text works normally take the form of installations on walls, primarily focusing on African American voices and serves as a monument to Hip-Hop and Black music cultures. This exhibition features several large-scale, wall-mounted vinyl text pieces from his new series Hip Hop Onomatopoeia and the Excavation series. Hip Hop Onomatopoeia, a body of work that explores conversations on gun violence within Hip Hop music. The works are text-based, using the onomatopoeia of gunshots in hip-hop songs as their preference. Cameron’s use of onomatopoeia, or forming words based on associated sounds, results in emotionally resonant artworks.

A black vinyl poster with the text "BAKA! BLAOW!" on a grey wall.

A newly commissioned work I GOT TO HAVE IT is a monument to Hip-Hop and Black music and exemplifies the Excavation series. Written by Ed O.G. And Da Bulldogs (1991), I GOT TO HAVE IT. The piece will feature poetic text that peels back the layers of a hip hop song to reveal its connections to the history of Black culture. Indicative of Hip Hop’s sampling culture, the text will be composed of a source song and the song titles from which it is sampled. Notably, these sampled songs touch on key points in the lineage of Black music such as James Brown, Blues, and spirituals. The project will address urban realities and gun violence, the self- determination of the Black Power movement of the late 1960s, and feature African American spirituals like Wade in the Water

Additionally, the Media Art Gallery projection room will present a companion exhibition of Cameron’s “The I AM… Portfolio,” a group of posters addressing the recent violence against Black men and disregard for their lives in America. The title refers to rally calls and protest chants from the 1960s to the present. While violence against Black people is center stage in the current American cultural conversation, presenting a project by Black male artists – including Sanford Biggers, Rashid Johnson, and Shaun Leonardo, among others – offers valuable insights and counter representation.

Louis Cameron was born in Columbus, Ohio, USA; lives and works in Berlin, Germany.  He earned a B.F.A. from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and an M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia.

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