“From the Deep: In the Wake of Drexciya with Ayana V. Jackson” will now be on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art until Jan. 6, 2025. The exhibition, which imagines a powerful underwater world of African spirits, was originally scheduled to run through April. Jackson’s all-new works of speculative fiction bring to life an immersive, feminist and sacred aquatopia inspired by the legend of Drexciya, a mythic underwater kingdom populated by the children of pregnant women who had been thrown overboard or jumped into the ocean during the Middle Passage.
This exhibition presents the artist’s first foray into video and animation, her first monographic museum exhibition and the first presentation of her most recent body of work. Jackson uses her own body in her lens-based works to ask that people reckon with the brutal history that cast these humans to the sea while simultaneously envisioning a word of powerful, resilient women. In addition to original photographs, video, animation, installation, scent and sound, the exhibition includes costumes designed in collaboration with Rama Diaw of Saint Louis, Senegal; Olabangi “Cheddar” Arowoshola of Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana; and Mwambi Wassaki of Luanda, Angola.
About the National Museum of African Art
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the collection, conservation, study and exhibition of Africa’s arts across time and media. The museum’s collection of over 13,000 artworks spans more than 1,000 years of African history and includes a variety of media from across the continent. For more information, call (202) 633-4600 or visit the museum’s website. For general Smithsonian information, the public can call (202) 633-1000. Follow the museum on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.
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