Solange has created an interactive artwork hosted online for Tate Modern. Following the release of A Seat at the Table, her album which discusses the racial struggles and tension in America, the institution asked the musician to create an artwork inspired by its current exhibition, Soul of Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.
“Inspired by a photograph of artist Betye Saar and the role she played in the black arts movement in the 1970s, Solange reflects on black womanhood and the themes of black identity within her own work,” says Tate Modern. The inspired work is Seventy States, an interactive site that intermixes two elegantly designed by Querida, untitled poems with short films made in collaboration with Carlotta Guerra. The footage includes “some of the early concepts that helped shape and hold the visuals for Cranes in the Sky and Don’t Touch My Hair, as well as unused concepts and scenes from the footage co-directed by Alan Ferguson,” says Solange. The interactive work also incorporates a piece Solange created with artist Ricardo Babaum for Tate Modern back in 2010 titled, Capsules (NBP x me-you).
“There would be no hesitation should I be asked to describe myself today,” Solange tells Tate Modern about the piece. “I am a black woman. A woman yes, but a black woman first and last. Black womanhood has been at the root of my entire existence since birth.” The narrative to Solange’s record, A Seat at the Table displayed the artist taking a “deeper exploration into my own identity” she says.
“I experienced many different states of being, and mind throughout my journey. I mourned. I grieved. I raged. I felt fear and triumph while working through some of the trauma I set out to heal from,” explains the artist. “The state I so greatly wanted to experience, but that never arrived was optimism. I couldn’t answer my own question, if I had a responsibility as an artist to express optimism in the midst of working through so much of my own healing. I decided to do this through a visual language.”
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