On View June 10, 2023 – Until
Location: All locations
MULTIPLY: The Power of Three is a material design project uplifting the Pan African Flag and its representation of Black nationalism and unification of all the people across the diaspora. Led by artistic leader Christine Miller, three artists — Jocelyn Rice Aaron E. Hankins. and Laura Gautheir — created new flags for MoCADA in celebration of our soon-to-be expanded campus.
First presented in November 2021 as a solo gallery show, the presentation consisted as a collection of three flags representing themes: DURABLE, STURDY and FUNCTIONAL. These flags are fueled by personal stories, design intentionality and Black Love. Black Love is Black Power and Black Power is an armor against white supremacy.
ARTIST / CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Christine Miller (b. 1990, New York, NY, she/her) is a conceptual artist currently based in Portland, Oregon. With a background in Product Development and an extensive understanding of manufacturing processes, Miller’s work focuses on the design intentionality of physical products, literature, and advertisements that have been used to dehumanize African Americans. Her art centers around racial stereotypes and histories, while simultaneously reframing cultural narratives. Pointedly exploring how anti-Black propaganda and stereotypes permeate American life, Miller sources and recontextualizes figurines, advertisements, written material, and other ephemera that overtly and covertly create and maintain anti-Blackness. Despite the deeply violent and sinister nature of these objects and visuals, Miller often draws from those with an “everyday” quality – once readily available tchotchkes, drugstore products, and popular magazines – that add to the material’s impact. Through her work, Miller confronts and challenges white supremacist definitions and illustrations of Blackness, as well as her own identity formation.
MULTIPLY: The Power of Three
“Working with MoCADA was my first experience as Creative Director of MULTIPLY collaborating with other artists for this project. Influenced by MoCADA’s pillar of COMMUNITY, it was pivotal to uplift the practices and narratives of fellow Black artists for this endeavor. Initially, I approached Laura Gauthier for the creation of the flag for the MoCADA Governors Island house. Her textile, material, and application work served as a profound inspiration, and given her deep affinity for history and connection to Governors Island, it was an obvious choice. Next, I reached out to Aaron Hankins for the new L10 Gallery Space. It was through Aaron that I first encountered the concepts of Endurance Art and Process Art. His passion for tactile materials and his ability to craft raw creations with an Afrofuturist touch made him the perfect collaborator for this project. Lastly, I had the pleasure of adding Jocelyn Rice to the team. I was initially introduced to Jocelyn through her business, Black Earth United, during a program where we discussed designing for our ancestors who had escaped slavery and the necessities they required to survive in the elements. I was deeply impressed by Jocelyn’s commitment to connecting Blackness with the outdoors, a realm that had historically neglected our presence. Her work directly aligned with the new Garden Space, which aimed to explore Pan Africanism through outdoor activities and nature.
It has been an immense honor and privilege to work with these artists in this capacity. I eagerly anticipate witnessing the interaction between the MoCADA community and these creations, as well as exploring future opportunities for MULTIPLY to engage in more collaborations within spaces dedicated to Black Fellowship and Power.” – Christine Miller
FEATURED ARTISTS / COLLABORATORS
Jocelyn Rice is the artist and designer behind Black Earth United, she channels her creativity into the realm of outdoor apparel. With a deep understanding of the power of function and the transformative nature of textiles, she creates wearable stories through clothing.
Drawing inspiration from the principles of Black Quantum Futurism, as defined by Rasheedah Philips, Jocelyn’s designs transcend the boundaries of time and space. Her work seamlessly weaves together the past, present, and future, reflecting the radical freedom found in the great outdoors. By immersing herself in the natural world, Jocelyn acknowledges the profound teachings and nurturing energy of Mother Earth, infusing her creations with a sacred essence.
Founded in August 2020, Black Earth United is Jocelyn’s manifestation of a heartfelt desire to pay homage to the ancestors, elders, and contemporaries who have become guiding lights along her creative journey. Through her designs, she honors their legacies and draws inspiration from their wisdom, utilizing clothing as a canvas to tell their stories and inspire others.
Function is a cornerstone of Jocelyn’s design practice. Her deep understanding of the needs and demands of outdoor exploration guides her in crafting garments that seamlessly blend style and utility. She believes that clothing can serve as a tool for empowerment, offering protection against the elements while allowing individuals to express their unique identities. Each textile becomes a brushstroke in her larger artwork, as she combines textures, patterns, and colors to create functional and emotionally resonant pieces.
Jocelyn’s work invites wearers to embark on a journey of self-expression, connecting with their ancestral roots, and embracing the infinite possibilities of the Black Quantum Futurist experience. Through her work, she aims to ignite transformative change and inspire others to embrace their own creative paths, fostering a world that celebrates unity, resilience, and the boundless potential within each of us.
“Liberation’s Quantum Compass” by Jocelyn Rice, 36” x 60” inches, Polyester, Nylon, PVC, Plastic, Metal Compass, Rubber Faux Plant, Ink stamp. MULTIPLY TAG: 100% Cotton Canvas, Poly fusible heat, PU (first slide). Flag Detail (second slide), Flag detail featuring images of Harriet Tubman (third slide). Artist demonstrates flag’s wearable function (fourth slide).
Liberation’s Quantum Compass
Current Location: MoCADA BK, 80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn
Final Location: MoCADA Ubuntu Garden, 48 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn
“One of the defining aspects of this project is the transformation of the flag into a wearable piece. This flag is meticulously handcrafted from 100% nylon, transcending traditional boundaries, and becoming a functional garment. It serves as a guardian against the elements, providing protection from the wind and rain as wearers venture into the great outdoors. Infused with the spirit of functionality, the flag incorporates a compass and four practical pockets, ensuring that it becomes an indispensable tool for our journeys through life. Adorning the flag’s stars is the ethereal shadow of Harriet Tubman, a visionary and symbol of liberation. Her wisdom and knowledge of the outdoors are intrinsically woven into the fabric of our narrative. With her guidance, we reconnect with ancestral wisdom, finding solace and strength in the embrace of the earth.
Maintaining a timeless connection to the Pan African Flag while exuding a contemporary visual aesthetic, Liberation’s Quantum Compass is a testament to the strength, beauty, and resilience of the African diaspora. It embodies a vision of a Black Quantum Futurism where our voices reverberate with power, where liberation and harmony with nature intertwine. May this project serve as a catalyst for transformative change, inspiring others to embrace their journeys, and co-create a world that celebrates our infinite possibilities.” -Jocelyn Rice
Aaron E. Hankins is a lifelong learner with a joy for discovery while striving to explore ideas at the edge of human potential. His process art is made using in-situ resource utilization, using materials such as plywood, cardboard, and foam-core. Using rituals centered on flow state and body movement, Aaron also creates endurance art pieces lasting 500 to 1000 days. The first showing of his work included a 2021 exhibition at Rockefeller Center entitled, Endurance. Aaron is a world builder based in Portland, Oregon.
Current Location: MoCADA BK, 80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn
Final Location: MoCADA Gallery @ L10, 10 Lafayette Avenue Brooklyn
“Part II is about repurposing single-use items. A future where a cultural symbol can be constructed with different methods and materials, and exist as the same. Topping the flag is the lamp of knowledge. The lamp of knowledge reminds us of the importance of Part I. The flagpole has been embellished with pyrography matching the pattern of the wood grain. Each work created by Aaron E Hankins is serialized and dated upon completion.” – Aaron E. Hankins
Laura Gauthier is a Caribbean-American textile artist and theology student born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Driven by creativity and faith, she continues to explore the intersection between design and divine. Her projects include creating custom hand-made dolls that are commissioned to represent the family, culture and being of the recipient. It is important in her work to see and honor the individual as well as the whole and acknowledge the tensions and beauty that she finds.
Forsaken and Restored
Current Location: MoCADA BK, 80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn
Final Location: MoCADA Abolition House, House 7A Nolan Park, Governors Island
“In researching the history of Governors Island I was struck at the absence of any mention of an African-American history. The story of the Island spanned the Native-American experience, European arrival and New American identity with no mention of an African person or story. Though the Island was used to hold confederate prisoners during the American Civil War there is no mention of the large issue of the buying and selling of an entire group of people. The silence is very loud to me and it feels very familiar. It reminded me of those awkward office conversations where great effort is taken to avoid difficult topics. Where the convenient outcome is that we are avoided and excluded altogether. The Victorian practice of floral symbolism came to mind. It has always fascinated me that this cannon of flowers and meaning was developed and known. A way of communicating in plain sight without using words. It was not a secret code; it was known by many. That experience still happens now. Things are said, or unsaid and we know what they mean.
But what if the meaning is wrong? What if we reject the meaning? The anemone flower is a beautiful, striking blossom. Today, it is not uncommon to find a beautiful white anemone with its striking black center in a wedding bouquet. To the Victorians, however, this flower meant forsaken.
I, and many now, have no connection to that identifier. How similar it is that much attached to us as a people was put on us. Other’s definition of beauty, intelligence, strength and worth were used to measure and find us lacking. Like the Anemone, I shake off all unwanted monikers and judgements. I choose to see our beauty and strength; our royalty and worth.
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