Anat Ebgi Gallery present Kush is my Cologne, Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s first solo show at the gallery. Comprising a site-specific installation of inkjet prints on canvas alongside projected video and a single channel sound piece, the show is rooted in Huffman’s sculptural use of text and image to address formal systems of display, access, power and exclusion.
Huffman derives much of his practice from the intersection of writing, poetry, found media and common speech, often cutting, sampling and shifting bits of video and excerpts of text onto new formats. This translation of text and image dissolves explicit meaning in order to reconstitute it as an object, exposing the agency to draw from the context and composition of symbols. In the creation of these dissonant spaces, Huffman flattens symbolic and semiotic hierarchies, dismantling names and their roles to reveal language in its immediacy–a critical object brought forward through his use of layering, projection and repetition.
In the main gallery space, Huffman’s installations and prints host video projections, photoshopped collages and text. The looping video incorporates a scrum of clips culled from varying pop culture sources, while a lightbox prominently displays the title of James Baldwin’s 1963 essay on race relations The Fire Next Time. Mounted on the walls are inkjet and plastic transparencies depicting dance moves, tissues and radio receivers collaged into complex and elaborate compositions. Huffman balances out these ephemeral references with critical undercurrents on the necessity to perform, entertain, and create, all the while straddling the boundary between participation and exclusion. In his demarcation of space through textual, visual and cultural cues, he uses the gallery as a space where the viewer becomes equally invested as spectator and subject.
Jibade-Khalil Huffman (b. 1981, Detroit) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Huffman received his MFA from the Roski School of Fine Art at USC in 2013, as well as an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University in 2005. He has authored three books of poems, including, most recently, Sleeper Hold (Fence, 2015). Huffman was an artist-in-residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem in 2015-16 and was included in the 2014 Made in L.A. Biennial at the Hammer Museum. He has presented work internationally at institutions including MoMA/PS1, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles; Swiss Institute, New York and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland. Huffman has exhibited work in solo and group shows at galleries including Blum & Poe, Los Angeles; LACE, Los Angeles; LAXART, Los Angeles; Marianne Boesky East, New York; China Art Objects, Los Angeles and Night Gallery, Los Angeles. Anat Ebgi Gallery is pleased to announce representation of the Los Angeles-based artist.