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. . . You got to feel me on this one man So real, I’m so sincerious about it, you know? I know more than a few is gon’ relate . . . U R the One – Yasiin Bey The word sincerious was made popular by Dante Terrel Smith, professionally known as Yasiin Bey and formally known as Mos Def. The term appeared on his album True Magic published in 2006, the following year after Hurricane Katrina. U R the One is a song about heartbreak relationally, while the entirety of the album is about heartbreak in the social and political sense. In an interview with People’s Party with Talib Kweli, Yasiin recounts the sentiment around his cohort, “intelligent people, sensitive people, strong people who were dealing with real issues in their life, in their home and families. Sometimes issues with health.” Sincere Not the absolute beginning but a starting point for an artist is to speak from a place of understanding, then relate to a larger audience. For better or for worse, the Theme of Identity in Contemporary Art is unescapable. This is the ethos of our culture, but the terminology doesn’t stop at Feminist sculptures, dystopian works, papel picado, functional objects, castings and so on. Identity isn’t just the theme of heritage or politics. Judith Butler’s Violence, Mourning, Politics is a node to the artworks being made as a replacement for that which we hold closely, in times of mourning. Butler’s writings reserve conversations around the texture and tactile nature of some of the exhibited works. The idea and notion of touch, especially that within Art, creates an irony and agency to the artworks themselves. A sensation that brings attention to both the body of the artist and the audience. These artists are proceeding with genuine feelings and achieving those sensations through being and time. Serious A countering point to seriousness is the double edge sword of focusing on an idea so much so that the taste may become potent to the point of being aggressive. Humor and strangeness are played up in some of the works, as a tools of engagement. The discovery of the work allows you to ease into these longer investigations made by the artists’ deep psychology. Many of the artist, here, are working with issues referenced in Themes of Contemporary Art’s subcategories of Identity - •Identity is communal or relational •Identity politics •Essentialism •Diversity •Hybridity •Identity is constructed •Otherness and representation •Deconstructing difference •The fluidity of identity •Post identity “I am a fortunate artist, who is lucky enough and skilled enough to say this is [my] profession . . . a lot of people never got to do it consistently at this level . . . what you will continue to get out of me and us is a sincere expression, whether you understand it or not. It’s not a lie. It’s who we really are what we really are responding to, what is really important to us, and I’m going to leave it at that” -Yasiin Bey

Exhibition and Reception Images

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