Jamilah Sabur, Untitled (rhombus: above Lake Apopka North Shore) (detail), 2017, Video still, Courtesy of the artist
September 8–December 12, 2018

Jamilah Sabur

Ibine Ela Acu / Water Sun Moon

Jamilah Sabur negotiates complex relationships between the body and the landscape and interrogates notions of territoriality. These themes reoccur in her practice, but for this exhibition she focuses more specifically on Florida and the tropics of the Americas as spaces of contestation. Sabur considers the historical roots of violence and histories of colonialism in Florida while also ruminating on the distinctive attributes of the local environment and the threats it faces as a result of erosion, pollution, and flooding, among other calamities. She recognizes layers of residue and the interrelated nature of ongoing conflicts.

Sabur engages with rites of reckoning, considering the sacred as a nuanced terrain for both universal and local inquiries. One of the featured works in the exhibition, Untitled (rhombus: cradling Mars west of the Sargasso Sea), video still, 2017, belongs to a part of a series of short performances made for camera after Hurricane Irma in the Lake Wales Ridge region (home to Florida's Ancient Sand Islands that stretch for over 100 miles down the middle of central Florida) and on the coast of northeastern Florida. The title for the exhibition derives from the Timucua language. The Timucua lived in north central and north east Florida when the Spanish arrived in the region. The Spanish forced the Timucua to translate the creation story from the bible; the result yielded only one line making reference to animals, but the Timucua version went into describing the sacredness of animals in the most poetic way. Inspired by these gaps and cicatrices, Sabur seeks to honor the Timucua in a new work developed for the exhibition.

The artist works across various disciplines including performance, video, and installation. Sabur was born in Saint Andrew, Jamaica and received her MFA in Visual Arts from University of California San Diego in 2014 and her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Interdisciplinary Sculpture in 2009. She is interested in embodied cognition, social mimicry, dissonance, ritual, and the uncanny. Recent exhibition and screening venues include Emerson Dorsch, Miami, FL; Dimensions Variable, Miami, FL; ICA London; The 39th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Havana, Cuba; (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain; Busan Corner Theater, Busan, South Korea. Sabur lives and works in Miami, FL. In 2017, Sabur was an artist-in-residence at the Crisp-Ellert Museum of Flagler College.

This exhibition, featuring new and recent work, marks the artist’s first solo presentation at a museum.

Jamilah Sabur, Untitled (rhombus: cradling Mars west of the Sargasso Sea), 2017, Video still, Courtesy of the artist


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