Free Mason: Pick Up the Pieces, Opens March 7th in Chicago

Free Mason: Pick Up the Pieces will take place at Gallery X inside of the School of the Art Institute, Gallery X. (280 S Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL) March 7th- April 6th, 2013

By Rashayla Marie Brown, The Mountain Pose, 2012

Free Mason: Pick Up the Pieces navigates cultural fantasies and icons through their mystical, constructed, and romantic elements. Incorporating performative gestures and personae that hold both direct and esoteric relationships to funk, hip-hop, rock, and blues, Rashayla Marie Brown attempts to reimagine signifiers surrounding race, gender, and sexuality connected to these forms.

Masters in the realm of construction, ‘freemasons’ reference a secret society that employs symbols and rituals related to mysticism and craft. Citing this experience of collective consciousness, Brown’s works present a visual exploration of the expressive qualities and constructed aesthetics of popular culture. At once familiar and strange, the photographs perform as a metaphor for the constructed nature of identity in modernity and post-modernity, and as a space to redeem, claim, unpack, and reposition icons that relate to cultural consumption.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Brown will host an artist talk featuring SAIC faculty member Shahrazad Shareef on March 21. The conversation will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Gallery X during the weekly meeting of student group Black at SAIC.”

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