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February 6, 2018 – March 4, 2018
Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s Stanza contains an open poem in an abstract film. We begin with a puzzling array of quickly moving scenes that feel like visual memories bathed in light. In the background, we hear the noble tones of the disgraced former chess champion Paul Charles Dozsa as he impassionedly mounts his defense as he is being arrested. The famous restaurant runner had 54 convictions for refusing to pay for meals. This little piece of youtube meme history is just one of the numerous audio tricks and treats Huffman pulls out of his archive. Utilizing these familiar gems provides the viewer a familiarity, but just when you believe you can connect the dots between place and memory, the video, life, is jumbled again. We the audience get lost in the looseness. From time to time we are on the periphery of the artist Marisa Williamson’s day, watching her arise from bed and join a friend in the car. There is the well-worn trope of tossing darts at the big map, chance dictating stops along the road trip, however Williamson’s hand is seen pinning perfect little flags up to a polka-dotted wallpaper with no indication as whereabouts. A poem with calming airs is interwoven with It’s Funky Enough, a marker of rage and enthusiastic provocation by the West Coast rapper The D.O.C. builds and climbs without ultimately reaching explosion. The screen simmers. Stanza is a rollercoaster of power without a distinct beginning, middle, or ending.
Jibade-Khalil Huffman is an artist and the author of three books of poems, “19 Names For Our Band” (Fence, 2008), “James Brown is Dead” (Future Plan and Program, 2011) and “Sleeper Hold” (Fence, 2015). His recent and forthcoming exhibitions include the Hammer Museum, MOCA Detroit, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, The Jewish Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, The Studio Museum in Harlem and Swiss Institute. Educated at Bard College (BA), Brown University (MFA, Literary Arts), and USC (MFA, Studio Art), his awards include the Grolier Poetry Prize, the Jerome Foundation Travel Grant and fellowships from the Lighthouse Works, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Huffman was a 2015-16 Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and lives and works in New York.