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Awol Erizku opens Mystic Parallax exhibition at The FLAG Art Foundation
Awol Erizku, Black Fire (Mouzone Brothas), 2019. Digital chromatic print 26 x 20 inches, in the exhibition Mystic Parallax at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2020.

NEW YORK, NY.- Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax, opens at The FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea, this Saturday, September 26 - November 14, 2020.

Erizku engages an Afrocentric perspective to a new body of photo-based works, sculpture, drawings made from incense smoke and ash, and a series of short films, which act as a counter-narrative to the historically westernized discourse on African and African American culture. Central to the new works are signifiers rooted in Trap music and Islam that employ contronyms as a visual and linguistic device to explore new dimensions in the evolving lexicon on objects, music, and prose. Throughout the exhibition, Erizku combines expropriated and commodified Aethiopean artifacts, contemporary African American iconography, and references to photography, media, and image creation. Fire, both as a medium and symbolic, Benu-like element, serves as a catalyst for metamorphosis and transfiguration, creating a space for historical interventions, and rejuvenating fossilized concepts and visual language.

The title Mystic Parallax suggests alternative readings and cross-cultural perspectives from multiple vantage points, inviting viewers to participate in an open-ended investigation into a constellation of ideas. The exhibition aims to construct a new paradigm; a break from master narratives and Eurocentric intellectual gate-keepers; the treatment of Africa as a monolith; mythopoeia; post-structuralism; culture as commodity; and impact of language on the construction of meaning.

Mystic Parallax is Erizku’s second solo exhibition and the eighth time FLAG has worked with the artist since 2011.

Awol Erizku (b.1988, Gondar, Ethiopia, lives in Los Angeles, CA) is a conceptual artist who received his B.A. from Cooper Union in 2010 and his M.F.A from Yale in 2014. He has exhibited at institutions across the country including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Slow Burn at Ben Brown Fine Arts Hong Kong, Menace II Society at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, Make America Great Again at Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, New Flower | Images of the Reclining Venus at The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, and Smokes of Anomy presented at nomadic exhibition venue, Duchamp Detox Clinic, by the artist in the Bronx.

The FLAG Art Foundation, founded in 2008 by art patron Glenn Fuhrman, is a non-profit exhibition space that encourages the appreciation of contemporary art among a diverse audience. FLAG presents four to six exhibitions a year that include artworks by international, established and emerging artists, borrowed from a variety of sources. FLAG invites a broad range of creative individuals to curate exhibitions and works in-depth with artists to provide curatorial support and a platform to realize their own solo exhibitions. Based in Manhattan's Chelsea art district, FLAG and its related programs are free and open to the public.

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