Blues for Smoke Performance Series
Blues for Smoke will be accompanied by a series of concerts, performances and readings showcasing the enduring legacy and innovative possibilities of the blues in contemporary music and live art. Reflecting on the exhibition's consideration of "the blues" as a political and aesthetic idiom within the visual arts, the performances will showcase contemporary musical forms that extend aspects of the blues legacy. The series will look at music, as well as poetry and playwriting, as powerfully expressive forms, conceptual orientations, and looser frames which enable improvisation, repetition and communication. Through various experimental approaches, these artists bring forth the powerfully ecstatic, improvisatory, conceptual, political, mournful, and incantatory aspects inherent in the blues.
The Blues for Smoke performance series is organized by curator Jay Sanders.
Performance Series Artists Include:
Ashok Kondabolu (Dapwell)
Himanshu Suri (Heems)
Victor Vazquez (Kool A.D.)
In the News
"As a musical category blues is hard to pin down, and this show makes the job harder, which seems to be its point. It’s saying: Blues isn’t a thing; it’s a set of feelings, a state of mind, maybe a state of grace."
—The New York Times
"There is such a bombardment of absolutely stunning paintings, installations, sculpture and visual presentations that it is difficult to tear yourself away until the moment is fully digested."
"Drawing together various art forms (video, sculpture, painting, and live performance) across the lines of race, multiple generations and interdisciplinary canons, Blues for Smoke places the idioms of blues, and other distinctly African-American traditions, at the center of the American tableau of creativity."