From the Deep: In the Wake of Drexciya with Ayana V. Jackson

April 29, 2023 – January 6, 2025
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Ayana V. Jackson, It Is Only When You Lose Your Mother That She Becomes a Myth, 2018-22, archival pigment print on German Etching paper.

National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC

For her first monographic exhibition, acclaimed photographer Ayana V. Jackson was inspired by the Detroit-based 1990s techno band Drexciya (musicians James Stinson and Gerald Donald) whose albums imagined a mythical aquatopia populated by descendants of pregnant African women thrown (or who jumped) overboard into the Atlantic Ocean during the Middle Passage. In this exhibition, Jackson expands her practice to include animation, immersive video, installation, sound, and scent. She creates a series of haunting, yet profoundly beautiful and empowering encounters that draw upon African water spirits from Senegal to South Africa.