4.3.2018, 12:00h, "Burg Hüsli", Leukerbad, CH
In honor of James Baldwin and his time spent in Switzerland, I portrayed him as part of my ongoing series "The Firsts", being the first black guest at the little village of Leukerbad in the Valais Alps in Switzerland in between 1951-53. His partner at the time, the Swiss painter Lucien Happersberger, invited him to his family house there to focus on completing his first novel "Go Tell it on the Mountain".
After visiting the village myself for the first time in autumn 2016 to find the chalet he lived in, I met the owner of the house and asked if I could memorialize James Baldwin on one of the window shutters in his honor and of the time he spent in the house and village. He agreed! I then contacted the Baldwin Estate in New York City to share my idea and got their blessing, too! I returned to Leukerbad during the last holiday season and was able to take the shutter away with me, and I made the work at my studio in Helsinki. I stapled the portrait based on a drawing of James made of many of his photos and films – he even bought the woolen pullover he is wearing in Leukerbad.
On February 23, I spoke about and revealed the work at the conference "The evidence of things not seen" – Queering Europe with James Baldwin at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and will permanently install the public artwork on Sunday, 4.3. at 12:00h together with the chalet owners Family Bittel. The happening is public and everybody is welcome.
22.–23.2.2018, Bern, CH
I'm pleased to participate in the conference “The evidence of things not seen” – Queering Europe with James Baldwin organized by the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies ICFG, University of Bern. More coming soon.
29.1.2018, 12:00-1:15 pm, Scribbs College, Boone Recital Hall, Claremont
I was invited to give an public artist talk at the Scribbs College and continued discussion at Professor Myriam J. A. Chancy's Caribbean Literature and Postcolonial Studies class.
24.1.2018, 7:00-8:30 pm, MOLAA - Museum of Latin American Art
I was invited to give an public artist talk at the MOLAA as part of their new lecture series The Integration of Art & Science in Effecting Social Change while the group exhibition Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago by Getty Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA curated by Tatiana Flores is still running until 28.2.2018. My travels were made possible by the Arts Promotion Center Finland.