Michi Meko: Black Navigation
Michi Meko: Black Navigation
Michi Meko: Black Navigation
Kavi Gupta

Michi Meko: Black Navigation

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“Being Black in the wilderness is an idea I’ve been trying to chase down or play with for a long time. I wrote a book of field notes and took photographs and made drawings. A lot of it was trying to hear my voice and understand what that meant—to hear one’s own voice in wild spaces. What does a Black man sound like in a wilderness, versus the voice of John Muir or Ernest Hemingway?" —Michi Meko

Elucidating several aspects of Michi Meko’s multifaceted practice, this multi-volume, limited edition publication highlights Meko’s paintings, sculptures, and installations, along with his black and white nature photographs, poetry, wilderness field notes, and sketches. The catalogue includes a limited edition wayfinding print created by the artist.

Mekos rigorous studio practice is grounded in a material, metaphorical, and philosophical examination of what he calls “the African American experience of navigating public spaces, particularly in the American South, while remaining buoyant within them.” Incorporating romanticized found objects as well as the visual language of mapping, flags, and wayfinding into his work, Meko constructs transcendent aesthetic spaces into which the viewer’s psyche is free to wander.

“These references signal the warning of a threat or the possibility of safe passage,” Meko says. “Working beyond the physical image of the body, objects of buoyancy and navigation become metaphors for selfhood, resilience, and the sanity required in the turbulent oceans of contemporary America.”

The catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Michi Meko: Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground at Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd., June 4–July 30, 2022.

Texts by Michi Meko and Phillip Barcio. Designed by Alex Kostiw. Edition of 100.

Published by Kavi Gupta, 2022, two paperback volumes, a pamphlet, and a folded print in a slipcase, 9 x 6 inches.


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