FiveMyles, 558 St Johns St, Brooklyn, NY 11238
August 6—September 4, 2022
Co-curated by Hanne Tierney and Klaudia Ofwona Draber
A celebration of 60 years of Jamaican Independence
In partnership with FiveMyles
Jamaican-American multi-disciplinary artist Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow presents costumes, prints, and textile pieces created as part of her ongoing, multi-year performance project, JUNKANOOACOME. This work is informed by her research on Junkanoo, a pre-abolition, pan-Caribbean satirical masquerade and ritual created by enslaved Africans confronting slave-masters.
Junkanoo was traditionally performed around Christmas - the only time of year when enslaved Africans were allowed celebrations - and was named after John Konny (or John Canoe), an 18th century Akan warrior. For seven years, Konny defended his land, current-day Ghana, against Dutch and British invasion.
Lyn-Kee-Chow explores and re-creates the Jamaican Junkanoo characters (Junkanooacome means "Junkanoo is coming" in Jamaican patois), reviving the ritual in 21st century New York and addressing the remnants of slavery displayed throughout the City's historical landmarks. She also seeks to bring back the celebration at different times of the year. The exhibition begins on Jamaican Independence Day, and celebrates the 60th anniversary of Jamaican independence from British colonial rule.
Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow's work often explores performance and installation art drawing from the nostalgia of her homeland, Caribbean folklore, fantasy, feminism, globalism, spirituality, environmentalism, and migration. She holds a BFA with honors from New World School of the Arts, University of Florida and an MFA from Hunter College, CUNY. Her work has been featured internationally at venues including Royal West Academy of England, The National Gallery of Jamaica, You You Contemporary Art Centre, Guangzhou, China.