Let’s House It: Friday, July 19th. All Day Every Day
Marcus Garvey Park Harlem, NYC
Enter Marcus Garvey Park at 123rd St. and Madison Ave.
or 124th St. and Fifth Ave.
Africans were transported to these here United States to turn a profit in someway or another, for everyone but themselves. The only thing that they were able to bring was their customs and ways, which came with their bodies. As the Americanization of the African took its toll on their culture and identity, home was now where they house was located, not the place that housed their home. So it is truly refreshing to see an artist like Simone Leigh create an installation in Harlem, in a park named after an immigrant, Marcus Garvey, trying to mobilize a great migration back to a homeland for those of Americans of African descent.
inHarlem: Simone Leighmashes up the multimedia artist’s recent steps into the public realm with her longstanding interest in African and African-American material culture and female identity. The installation, a particularly elaborate imba yokubikira, or kitchen house, stands locked up while its owners live in diaspora, inserts three structures, reminiscent of imba yokubikira (kitchen houses) from Shona-speaking rural areas of Zimbabwe, into the landscape of Marcus Garvey Park. Approximating the scale and outer texture of the round, clay-and-thatch imba, the structures are arranged in a cluster to suggest a community; however, all are without entrances, to both celebrate a diaspora and evoke the displacement it involves.