KNOT combines many of the touchstones of Rashaad Newsome’s multidisciplinary practice: spinning decorative jewelry, lavish Gothic architecture, Black ballroom dancing, mathematical knot theories, and a frenetic energy that emerges from the extraordinary dancers and vocalists, as well as the artist’s surrealistic digital collaging techniques. Commissioned for the Brooklyn Museum’s 2014–15 exhibition Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe, the video heralds the legacy and longevity of Vogue Fem dance’s Black, Latinx, queer, and trans originators and innovators.
Video installation: video, color and sound
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Gift of the artist and De Buck Gallery
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Rashaad Newsome (American, born 1979). Knot, 2014. Video installation: video, color and sound Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist and De Buck Gallery, 2018.49. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2018.49_view01_SC.jpg)
screen capture, Timestamp: 00:07, 2018.49_view01_SC.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2020
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A spectacular short video “Knot” (3:45) shows fragmentary figures floating, twerking, and dancing in a variety of constructed spaces. The work references baroque architecture, hip-hop culture, and black and LGBTQ subcultures and highlights desire, capitalistic obsessions, and systemic oppressions. Newsome shows a keen awareness of art historical and alternative cultural sources to offer pointed commentaries on contemporary culture and identity politics.
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