Liona R. Nyariri

/hoo/ /no/ /no/ /go/ /no/
(listening and viewing room: music from the Civil Rights Movement and The Anti-apartheid Struggle)
Screening schedule below

On view: February 8 – February 17, 2019
Part one of the 5-part Workspace ’19 exhibition series featuring new work by residents of AAI’s LES Studio Program.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6pm
Cuchifritos  Gallery + Project Space: 120 Essex Street NY, NY 10002 (inside Essex Street Market)

In this first iteration of Liona Nyariri’s project room, /hoo/ /no/ /no/ /go/ /no/, Nyariri will present a listening and film room with special focus on the music of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, as well as the music from the Anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

/hoo/ /no/ /no/ /go/ /no/ is the phonetic writing of the phrase, “who no know go know” and it acts as a prompt that encourages the seeking out of knowledge or information. The idea of the project room was developed while Nyariri was in residency in Artist Alliance Inc’s Lower East Side Studio Program in 2018. The project room is meant to be a space of learning and sharing while interacting with different people from different backgrounds. It is a room where knowledge is gained or where questions are asked and a space that encourages communal engagement with a subject.

For the installation at Cuchifritos Gallery, the room will provide music created during the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s in both the US and South Africa and films that offer historical context to both anti-racist movements. Visitors to the room will have the opportunity to listen to the music that propelled both struggles. There will be daily screenings of the films Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony (produced by Sherry Simpson Dean, Desiree Markgraaff and Lee Hirsch) and Soundtrack for a Revolution (directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman).

Nyariri, who is an immigrant of South Africa and who has lived in the US for the past 4 years, is interested in the shared histories and strategies of struggle that both these places used and borrowed from each other. Both Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela shared a belief in non-violence, while Malcom X and Steve Biko believed in an armed resistance; however, neither leader promoted violence for violence sake, but rather, believed in using violence as a necessary means of protection for themselves and their people. At one or more points, all four of these figures’ ideologies converged and created new dynamics. As some of the goals of the US civil rights movement had been realized, a strong connection remained between US leaders and activists and South African leaders and activists. Conversely, many exiled apartheid activists, including a number of South African musicians, who promoted anti-apartheid sentiments in their work, were exiled to the US or Europe. Here they were supported by other activists who worked against apartheid and racial discrimination. Namely, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, and Letta Mbulu are some of the South African musicians who, when exiled to the US, worked with American musicians and producer Quincy Jones. Some of them were also invited to perform at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.

By bringing these two struggles together in one room, Nyariri aims to look at how music was a significant driving force, as well as consider the impact of solidarity in these border-crossing movements. There are still many moments to be discovered and discussed in the collective memories of the US and South Africa and with this project room, Nyariri hopes to put forth a conversation about solidarity and how people can support one another in any struggle against oppression.

Visitors to the room are invited to reflect on the space and what they are seeing and listening to on the blue paper provided. All are welcome to either leave their reflections on the wall, on the gallery desk or keep them. Please note that if visitors decide to leave their reflections in the space, Nyariri will be collecting them to make a zine. The zine will be free online and anyone may request a PDF copy. Please email Nyariri at lionarnyariri@gmail.com to request a copy of the zine.

SCREENING AND LISTENING SCHEDULE
**Please note that screenings will begin on Tuesday, February 12

Sat & Sun (2/9-2/10)
12:00 – 6:00p         Listening and reflection session 

Tues (2/12) & Thurs (2/14)
12:00 – 2:30p         Listening and reflection session
2:35 – 4:05p           Soundtrack for a Revolution 
4:10 – 6:00p           Listening and reflection session 

Wed (2/13) & Fri (2/15)
12:00 – 2:30p         Listening and reflection session
2:30 – 4:20p           Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony
4:25 – 6:00p           Listening and reflection session

Sat (2/16)
12:00 – 2:00p          Soundtrack for a Revolution
2:00 – 6:00p            Listening and reflection session

Sun (2/17)
12:00 – 2:00p          Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony
2:00 – 6:00p            Listening and reflection session

* * *

Liona R. Nyariri (b. 1991) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in Fine Art from Parsons The New School of Design and completed her Whitney Independent Study Program fellowship in 2017. Her work has been presented at Participant Inc, Long Island City Art Fair, Gallery Momo, Cape Town Month of Photography, Young Blood Gallery, AVA Gallery, and others. She is the recipient of the ABSA Art and Life award as well as a top finalist for the Sasol New Signatures Award. Nyariri is currently completing a 9-month fellowship in Germany at BS Projects Braunschweig University. 

Artists Alliance Inc. is 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos Gallery and the LES Studio Program are supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Cuchifritos Gallery programming is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc for their continued support. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers and interns, without whom this program would not be possible.