PAST PRESS

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  • RECENT PRESS COVERAGE

    Fahamu Pecou Elevates Black Bodies Into Gods | Thu. Aug. 25, 2016

    The message just came “one day out of the blue,” Fahamu Pecou says.

    He wasn’t expecting anything from South Carolina. Upon opening the package that had arrived at his home, he found a Sunday newspaper, Charleston’s Post and Courier, staring back at him. Splattered across the front page was the story of Walter Scott. Pecou didn’t need to read it to familiarize himself with the case of the unarmed black man shot in the back while fleeing a North Charleston police officer. Like so many before, this death had gone viral due to the video secretly recorded by an eyewitness whose footage refuted the officer’s version of events. Instead, the message scribbled on the yellow sticky note attached to the front page begged the Atlanta-based visual artist’s attention.

    “It’s time for you,” it read.

    FULL STORY »

    Fahamu Pecou’s art grapples with cultural representations of African Americans | Wed. Aug. 24, 2016

    Charleston City Paper

    In a July op-ed for ArtsATL, a nonprofit publication in Atlanta, visual artist Fahamu Pecou wrote a column titled, “Art Will Tell.” In it he talks about the origins of his Halsey exhibition, DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance, which opens this weekend. “One day in April 2015,” he writes, “I came home to a package in the mail. The sender was the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina.” Mark Soan, Halsey’s director, had sent Pecou a P&C story about the murder of Walter Scott. He attached a note to the article, “It’s Time For You.”

    Pecou, an African-American painter and multi-media artist, creates contemporary works that address society’s representation of black males, while utilizing traditional themes of Yoruba and Ifa, West African religious practices. Many of Pecou’s pieces are images of himself, a character he calls Fahamu Pecou is The Shit. In a piece titled “Native Tongue,” Pecou is in profile, wearing slouching jeans and no shirt, a traditional Yoruba mask atop his head. Other pieces, like “Something Eternal,” show a man with a covered face kneeling before a woman’s naked body, whose black skin is speckled with what appear to be gold flakes, but could just be Vitiligo, a skin condition that causes depigmentation in skin.

    FULL STORY »

    ‘Do or Die’ exhibit at Halsey showcases new work by Fahamu Pecou | Sat. Aug. 20, 2016

    The Post and Courier

    Fahamu Pecou is an Atlanta-based artist who explores the topic of black masculinity, its expression by African Americans and its portrayal in the public sphere.

    He approaches the issue mostly through visual art, but he also loves music, photography, video and other media, which he uses liberally in an effort to enhance the significance of his art exhibits.

    His big conceit is the creation of a persona, “Fahamu Pecou is the Sh*t.” This character frees him to express a plethora of profound ideas about popular culture, consumerism, spirituality, identity and more.

    FULL STORY »

    Art Review: Machine Dreams: Erwin Redl at the Halsey Institute in Charleston | Fri. Aug. 5, 2016

    BurnAway

    Erwin Redl’s Ascension (circle 24) is a fountain of Ping Pong balls. In his recent show “Rational Exuberance,” a circle of 24 glass tubes hung from the ceiling of the gallery, and each tube contained a ball dramatically lit with LED lights. A fan at the bottom of each tube caused the balls to rise and clink against the glass. When they fell, we heard the low sound of a timpani. The movement and the sounds set up a regular rhythm like breathing (watch another piece in the series here). Sometimes they rose in unison. Sometimes one by one. Sometimes they rise a little bit, then go halfway up the tube, then ¾ up, and finally reach the top. But they never quite match up. One ball is usually a little behind, while others might rise in perfect lockstep.

    FULL STORY »

    Artist Fahamu Pecou On The Intersection Of Art And Activism | Wed. Jul. 27, 2016

    WABE Atlanta’s NPR Station

    Fahamu Pecou joined Lois Reitzes, with Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE, for a conversation on the intersection of art and activism, the philosophies behind his work, and his upcoming exhibition at the Halsey Institute DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance opening August 26th.

    FULL STORY »

    Your unofficial Spoleto place of zen | Thu. May. 26, 2016

    Charleston City Paper

    Earlier today, I took a walk through downtown for a Spoleto dry run when I dropped in the Halsey to see Redl’s LED installation. While I could go into more detail about the overall exhibit, I just don’t feel any of that’s necessary, particularly when talking about the individual pieces with any degree of weight is to impart unnecessary meaning to what is little more than a couple of delightful doohickies and a few tapestries.

    FULL STORY »

    Installation Artist Erwin Redl Brings Light and Movement to the Halsey Institute | Thu. May. 26, 2016

    South Carolina Public Radio

    Erwin Redl investigates the process of “reverse engineering” by (re-)translating the abstract aesthetical language of virtual reality and 3D computer modeling into architectural environments by means of large-scale light installations. In his current show at the Halsey Institute, his work displays strict methodologies which employ binary logic as well as tropes of minimalism to exuberant extremes. As demonstrated in his light installations and most recent kinetic works, a very restrained vocabulary due to the scale, repetition, and variations leads to a sense of deep corporeality. 

    FULL STORY »

    Last-chance exhibits worth a trip: “Neighbors” and students swap mail art | Wed. May. 25, 2016

    The Post and Courier

    If you’re not familiar with the concept of correspondence art, you’re not alone. In a time when the handwritten letter is almost extinct, the notion of turning mail into art seems like a far-fetched one. But, as a subject, it is truly fascinating and offers a glimpse into the working mindset of long-form correspondence and the artistic process.

    FULL STORY »

    Erwin Redl’s LED installations just might cause you to lose your inhibitions | Wed. May. 18, 2016

    Charleston City Paper

    Mark Sloan was first introduced to Erwin Redl when the artist was chosen to work on Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, a public art project in the conservative heart of the Upstate that the Halsey director was working with. Redl collaborated with the city to design and develop LED light installations which would not only help beautify the city but create safer, more vibrant neighborhoods. Although Sloan was already aware of Redl’s work when they met, the encounter ultimately led to Redl’s latest installation Rational Exuberance, which opens this week at the Halsey.

    FULL STORY »

    ‘Young Contemporaries’ show features student art, serves as launching pad | Sun. Mar. 27, 2016

    Charleston City Paper

    Art-making is not a particularly reliable career. Even the most talented painters and sculptors often will struggle to earn a living wage. But certain factors increase the odds of success, especially good teachers, advocates and opportunities.

    The annual Young Contemporaries show mounted by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art provides one such opportunity. And for some College of Charleston studio art students, it has paid off.

    FULL STORY »

    Community Partners 2015