An exhibition commemorating the imaginative storytelling of Detroit techno duo Drexciya, aka James Stinson and Gerald Donald, has opened up in Washington, D.C.
From the Deep: In the Wake of Drexciya with Ayana V. Jackson is open to the public now at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and will remain on show for one year until April 2024.
The themed exhibition looks back at Drexciya’s imagined underwater world populated by children and women who had jumped or been thrown overboard during the transatlantic slave trade.
From The Deep explores feminism and power through textiles, sculpture, photography, and animation throughout the immersive exhibition.
“Drexciya’s founding myth has inspired numerous artists, among them Ayana V. Jackson who, in this exhibition, brings to life an immersive, feminist, and sacred aquatopia where African water spirits from Senegal to South Africa both midwife and protect the Drexciyans,” reads the exhibition’s blurb.
Jackson, a multidisciplinary artist from New Jersey and curator of From The Deep, explained that the exhibition pays homage to the millions who died during the slave trade.
“By using her own body to convey her message, Jackson actively engages in what it might have meant to be among the estimated two million captives who never made it to shore. What do you imagine the Drexciyans see looking back at us?”
First formed in ‘92, Drexciya built the imagined nautical kingdom over the course of three records until Stinson’s sudden death in 2002. The project was partly based on the 1993 book The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness.
Find out more about From the Deep: In the Wake of Drexciya with Ayana V. Jackson here, and check out a preview video below.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter