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Hunt, Gather, Remix and exhibition by artist Adeyemi Adegbesan

An overview of the 2024 Adeyemi Adegbesan Hunt, Gather, Remix and exhibition at the RLAG in the Waterloo Campus Library 

Exhibition dates

  • Exhibition dates: January 8 to April 14, 2024 - 
  • At the Robert Langen Art Gallery at the Waterloo Campus library
  • Reception date: Tuesday, February 27 4:30-6:30, RLAG

Overview

In Adeyemi Adegbesan’s work Remix culture and Afrofuturism share a symbiotic relationship, each influencing and shaping the other in narrative pieces that center on themes of black spirituality, fantasy, identity and futurism. Remix culture has a profound connection to several distinct art forms born of the African diaspora. This manifests in musical genres such as hip hop and Jamaican Dub, Masquerade culture which is celebrated throughout the continent and many countries in the diaspora. In Adegbesan’s Afrofuturist works, the remix often involves the reinterpretation of traditional narratives, folklore, and imagery, infusing them with futuristic elements to challenge and reimagine societal constructs. Remix culture is at once a celebration of black creativity and a signifier of a resilience born from resistance to oppressive forces. In Adegbesan’s work the relationship between African diasporic culture and remix culture showcases a continuous dialogue between the past, the present, and the future creating a dialogue between contemporary society and futurist ideologies.  

Adegbesan’s work involves the  repurposing of materials, imagery and symbols as a method of honoring black culture. Pulling from the worlds of fashion, fantasy, music, science fiction, sports, Adegbesan employs digital and analogue collage techniques, illustration, photography, assemblage and upcycled materials in his practice. The work examines the intricate interplay between existing cultural artifacts of the African diaspora and contemporary black culture, recontextualizing elements to create new narratives that live at the intersection of ancient spirituality and futurist ideologies. Ultimately the work serves as a celebration of the collective creativity that permeates African diasporic cultures.  

Adegbesan’s approach to creating is rooted in the processing of personal research and self discovery. It is also (inspired) by his personal belief in the importance of cultural preservation for black communities. Embedding culturally significant information into the art is at once a means of self preservation and resistance to erasure. Afrofuturism serves as the vehicle for these objectives to allow the messaging in the work to be forward facing and to live in the realm of speculative fantasy as opposed to narratives that exist as a direct response to trauma and hardship. Adegbesan invites viewers to consider the delicate balance between honoring history and embracing alternative possibilities for future timelines, the remix.