Saturday, August 20, 2011

MoCADA (Brooklyn): Hanson Pl and S Portland Ave

"Powerful but limited" is how I would describe the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (MoCADA). This little museum in Brooklyn has some great artwork, but the space is very limited and it is sparsely displayed.

I loved the current Fiona Foley exhibit of the HHH (Hedonistic Honky Haters), the fictional group of African Australians who are dressed in caps and cloaks of African print fabric in a style similar to the Klu Klux Klan.  The direct, head-on blow up photos are powerful, a little self-deprecating and oddly fun (see right).

The other piece that really spoke to me were Vicki Couzens' possum pelt bone bags (see left).  These bags are replicas of bone bags carried by aboriginal women for up to a year after the death of a loved one.  Something about the richness of the fur and the blood colored exposed skins was touching.

Finally, the exhibition of contemporary photos of African American men in classy, dressy attire called "Dandy Lion" was fun and fashionable.  It was interesting to me that these photographers thought it was important to show these men in this type of attire, contrasting against more typical gangster or hip hop looks.  I could appreciate their desire to demonstrate this other side of the African American community (given I, as an Asian American, am more sensitive to negative portrayals of other Asians--whether we want to admit it or not, people of the same minority group are often painted with one broad brush rather than as individuals so it matters to us how others in our group are viewed).

This is a good little museum, but I wish there were more.  At this point, I could recommend it to others if they happen to find themselves in this part of Brooklyn, but I would not suggest a special trip to visit the MoCADA.

No comments:

Post a Comment