Lorna Simpson is what makes Angela Davis discourse in art. Her feminism is black, her blackness has social consciousness, and her social criticism is heterotopic. And besides, everything she does is magical, simple and clear. Nowhere else can one see works of art that are so close to the music. When you look at the spectators of the exhibition, you discover a lot of bliss - like after a successful concert. But you can also tell stories to each group of works. Or develop a discourse.
The first European retrospective of her work is now available in the Munich House of Art. She spans 30 years of her work and shows how her motifs and techniques change and relate to each other. To understand the continuity of her work is easy in this exhibition because it is clearly structured and offers a wise choice. Thus begins the entrance into the world of the African-American artist with the video installation "Momentum", in which dancers with powerful Afro-wigs and gold-smoothed skin meet each other. It is rare to see so clearly how much dance language is. Or language dance, as one takes it. And at all: gold. The color - is it a color? - always plays a role with Lorna Simpson, for example in the series "Gold Head", where strong brush strokes with gold color form powerful hairstyles. There is also a moment, an intercourse of perception, a space in which one floats, because the question "What is it?" Always allows two answers - at least.
From there you go to the "Early Works". Lorna Simpson, born in 1960, grew up in Brooklyn, studied at the School of Visual Arts and began her work as a documentary artist. Their interest is the presence of African Americans in the public eye. It shows how the public is shaping the image of African Americans and, above all, African women in the USA, and the ethnicity is invented. She increasingly combines her documentary images with artistic productions. The large-format photographs combine them with texts that are not simply titles, images, or explanations. Word poetics and pictorial poetry are encountered, for example in the series "The Park", and produce a moment full of contradictions, possibilities and transitions. But also full of threat. "Necklines" from 1989 shows twice the same shot of a black woman; The text juxtaposes words full of violence and malice, which were formed into a story that would lead to the drama of a lynch. In another series Simpson combines photographs from the fifties, found footage, on which African-American women posing buy lace wigs, with their own post-productions, a reenactment. When Cindy Sherman's "Stills" point to a dream production where almost anything is possible hand tied human hair wigs, the scenarios Simpson hatches remain more closely bound to reality. How would it feel to be a black woman in New York in the fifties? And what made you dream of being caught in the pictures? A cool melancholy blows from these images of a past intimacy.