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Feb 20 - Mar 26, 2016
LA><ART is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles based artist Jibade-Khalil Huffman. Working across sculpture, photography, text-based work, video, and performance, Huffman’s work is consistently informed by his writing practice, that is, the poetry and research into linguistic structures that are integral to his artistic interests. The rhetorical question, “what can I say about that suit that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan?” prompted by the exhibition title serves as a critical framework for Huffman’s latest video and installation. The quote is taken from a skit in the series finale of comedian Dave Chappelles’ stand up and sketch comedy program, “Chappelle’s Show;” the question is asked by Chappelle’s recurring character, “Silky Johnson,” who performs verbal take downs and quips aimed at an opposing character who bears the brunt of the joke. The punchline to Silky Johnson’s set-up is that the opposing character’s suit “looks bombed-out and depleted.” The monologic call and response format of the comedic skit is utilized throughout Huffman’s exhibition while the rhetorical and political violence the skit prompts also provides a crucial point of critical reflection. Huffman’s project at LA><ART looks to the comedy skit as a form of satirical writing and theater through which to examine notions of autobiographical writing or working in the first person. Huffman further examines disaster effects and police brutality against the meaning of the theatrical skit. Ultimately, his work recalls the indeterminacies of violence, and the literary and comedic traditions that, historically, have attempted to articulate how inextricably bound violence is to the absurd.
Jibade-Khalil Huffman is the author of three books of poems, including his most recent publication “Sleeper Hold” (Fence, 2014). His art and writing projects, spanning photography, video, performance and poetry, have been exhibited and performed at MoMA/PS1, Mt. Tremper Arts, and Scaramouche, New York; Machine Project, Public Fiction, Night Gallery, and Eighth Veil, Los Angeles; and Southern Exposure, San Francisco. His other exhibitions include “Third Person” with Anthony Pearson at Marianne Boesky, “The Four People You Meet at Every Drug Deal” at Samuel Freeman, and his presentation at the 2014 Made in LA Biennial at The Hammer Museum. A graduate of Bard College and Brown University, he holds an MFA from the University of Southern California, and lives and works in Los Angeles. Huffman is currently artist in resident at the Studio Museum in Harlem.