Awol Erizku. Black Fire (Mouzone Brothers), 2019. Digital c-print, 20 x 24 inches. Courtesy the artist.

Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax

April 3 - August 7, 2020

Update: The health and well-being of The FLAG Art Foundation’s staff, interns, art handlers, and community is its first priority. Out of an abundance of caution, FLAG will postpone Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax until conditions related public health and safety surrounding COVID-19 improve.

The FLAG Art Foundation is pleased to present Mystic Parallax, a solo exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Awol Erizku, on its 9th floor, dates TBD. Born in Ethiopia, raised in New York,  and based in Los Angeles, Erizku brings his multi-faceted perspective and gaze to a new body of photo-based works, sculpture, drawings, and a series of short films, as a counter-narrative to the historically westernized discourse on African and African American culture.

Central to the exhibition are signifiers rooted in Hip-Hop and Islam that employ contronyms as a visual and linguistic device to explore new dimensions in the evolving lexicon on objects, music, and prose. Throughout exhibition Erizku mashes expropriated and commodified Aethiopean artifacts, stereotypical contemporary African American iconography, and references to photography, media and image creation. Fire, both as a medium and phoenix-like element, serves as a catalyst for metamorphosis and transfiguration, creating a space for rejuvenation of fossilized concepts and vernacular.

The title Mystic Parallax suggests alternative readings from multiple vantage points, and invites viewers to participate in an open-ended investigation into a constellation of ideas. The exhibition aims to construct a new paradigm; a break from master narratives and Eurocentric intellectual gate-keepers; the treatment of Africa as a monolith; mythopoeia; post-structuralism; culture as commodity; and impact of language on the construction of meaning.

Awol Erizku (b.1988, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, lives Los Angeles, CA) is a conceptual artist who received his B.A. from Cooper Union in 2010 and his M.F.A from Yale in 2014. He has exhibited at institutions across the country including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Slow Burn at Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong, Menace II Society at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, Make America Great Again at Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, New Flower | Images of the Reclining Venus at The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, and Bad II the Bone presented at nomadic exhibition venue, Duchamp Detox Clinic, by Night Gallery.