February 22, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., to March 6, 2015
An Afrofuturism art exhibition hosted by OCAD U, Black Future Month 3015 provides a platform for artists who identify as black. Mediums span the spectrum and include painting, photography, 3D rendering, architecture, graphic design, a LEGO sculpture, video and sound.
Initiated and curated by OCAD U alumnus Danilo McCallum (Design and Visual Communications, 2005), the 16 artists showing in the exhibit, many of them OCAD U students and alumni, explore the Afrofuturism movement.
Afrofuturism, a term coined in 1993, is both a cultural aesthetic and a social movement. Says McCallum, “It is the mothership of alternate forms of consciousness that black artists continually reference,” and includes literary and visual works of fantasy, magic realism and science-fiction, all of which interrogate the past, critique the present and imagine possible futures for the African diaspora.
Why 3015? McCallum explains: “It’s so far into the future that the intention is to disconnect from the social barriers we have today. What’s possible? What are the possible utopias?” McCallum says he got the idea for the exhibit, which also includes a free panel discussion on February 27th (“Orbiting Around Women in Afrofuturism,” moderated by OCAD U Professor Camille Isaacs), by taking a look at the trajectory of his own work in the realm of black sci-fi: “The idea came to me as a result of an ongoing internal conversation. I wanted to bring more interest back into Black History Month and extend that conversation outside of just the month of February.”
The title Black Future Month is not McCallum’s own but he says he is “committed to the long term vision of what [the initiative] could be. Looking into the future, the concept behind BFM is that every month is black future month. We hope the vision of Afrofuturism continues to grow and we’ve been encouraged by a larger public interest.”
McCallum worked closely with poet and artist Quentin VerCetty to organize the exhibit, and he credits Professor Lillian Allen of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences for helping to bring the Black Future Month initiative to OCAD U. Professor Allen says, "There are so many in the creative community out there who developed wings from their educational roots OCAD U. I think the Afrofuturism show is a great way to bring some of that dynamism and vitality back to our doorsteps."
Opening reception for the week-long exhibit includes spoken word and performance art pieces, and audio soundscapes created live by Chris Ak and MuXobu.
This is the first time OCAD U has sponsored and hosted the third annual Black Future Month 3015.
February 22, 6 p.m. to March 6, 2015
100 McCaul St.