LOS ANGELES, CA-While addressing the issues of myth and tradition within albinism, the California African American Museum’s (CAAM) exhibition Visibly Invisible is sure to spark dialogue about the issues faced by people of African descent living with this condition – discrimination, prejudice, mutilation and murder. Visibly Invisible opens at CAAM August 29, 2014 and is ongoing through March 1, 2015.
Visibly Invisible highlights Jamaican-born, Los Angeles-based, artist Yrneh’s Gabon Brown’s international journey while researching and documenting the devastating effects of prejudice, ignorance and violence inflicted upon people with albinism in Tanzania, Jamaica and, to a lesser degree, the United States. Albinism is defined as an inherited condition present at birth, characterized by a lack of the pigment that normally gives color to the skin, hair and eyes.
Through videos recorded during his journeys and artwork created in various media (photography, collage, assemblage, sheet metal, cast bronze and ceramic sculpture), Brown shares the inspiration from his trips and the heartfelt devotion he has developed towards children and adults living with albinism. In his first solo exhibition at a major Los Angeles museum, Brown has produced powerful work intended to effectuate change through artistic exploration, social engagement and public discourse.
The artist, a former model, singer and actor, is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts program. He had a passion for the visual arts and a desire to combine his many talents with his interest in albinism in USA and abroad. Upon the completion of his degree at USC, Brown traveled to Tanzania, Eastern Africa, where he found first hand-account of the reality experienced by people with albinism. In Tanzania it is believed that those born with albinism possess magical powers and that their body parts can generate great wealth.
Ultimately, Brown’s goal is to debunk the myths attached to people with albinism and continue to lend his support.
Programs in association with Visibly Invisible include the following;
WALK-THROUGH and CONVERSATION
Saturday, September 20, 2014, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Join artist Yrneh Gabon Brown and exhibition curator Mar Hollingsworth for a dynamic walk-through of the exhibition Visibly Invisible, and an additional informal conversation with local scholars, advisers and supporters, Paul Van Blum and Karen Koblitz. Light refreshments will follow. RSVP preferred at 213.744.2024
DANCE AND POETRY PERFORMANCE
Sunday, November 2, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Inspired by his experiences in Tanzania, Yrneh Gabon Brown performs a unique piece accompanied by professional dancers from JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble. Choreography: Pat Taylor.
FILM SCREENING: BLACK AND WHITE: CRIMES OF COLOR (58 min)
Saturday, January 10, 2015, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This film documents the efforts of Vicky Ntetema, a BBC radio journalist, as she begins an investigation into the black market traffic of body parts of persons with albinism. Film courtesy of Under the Same Sun, an organization devoted to helping people with albinism in Tanzania.
PANEL DISCUSSION: ALBINISM IN TANZANIA
Saturday, February 7, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
CAAM is proud to present a panel discussion exploring the genetics behind albinism, and the social-political factors leading to the plight of the albino people. Panelists include Dr. Murray Brilliant, PhD., senior scientist and director at the Center for Human Genetics at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Wisconsin, and Dr. Rebecca Kammer, clinical consultant, Optometric Education at VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, and founder of Low Vision U, Orange County.
Exhibitions and events at CAAM are free and open to the public. Parking is $10 in the lot adjacent to CAAM, at 39th and Figueroa Streets. CAAM is located at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, 90037. For more information on CAAM visit www.caamuseum.org.
Ongoing Exhibitions in CAAM’s Galleries
Recent Acquisitions: Curatorial Selections ongoing through September 7, 2014
Curvature: Lines and Shapes ongoing through November 2, 2014
Visibly Invisible opening August 29, 2014 through March 1, 2014
Lookin’ Back in Front of Me: Selected Works of Mark Steven Greenfield, 1974-2014 opening September 25, 2014 through April 5, 2015.
Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company: More Than a Business Extended Exhibition
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM
The California African American Museum (CAAM) is a state agency charged with researching, collecting, preserving and interpreting for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans. Collaboratively operating in partnership with its 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum, CAAM houses a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects of art, artifacts and historical documents, and a publicly accessible Research Library containing more than 20,000 volumes.
To bring its mission to life, CAAM hosts up to 13 exhibitions annually and tours several of its organized exhibitions nationally. CAAM also presents a wide variety of more than 80 annual public programs ranging from educational and curriculum-driven lectures and tours with scholars and experts to art workshops, film screenings, and its highly popular signature series of monthly live performances Target Sundays at CAAM.
In furtherance of its value-driven commitment to mentor the next generation and give back to the community, CAAM proudly trains and employs high school students year-round through its Young Docent program; offers Buses & Docents as a source of equitable access to field trip opportunities for school and community groups that otherwise could not afford the transportation; fosters cross-issue, cross-town and cross-cultural learning and dialogue through its Young Voices at CAAM school exchanges; actively advocates literacy, book reading and written expression through Heads are Turning, Children are Learning; and, creates small business development and customer outreach opportunities for artists and craft-makers through its on-site Artpreneur vending program.