Deeki - Cambridge Nights: Found Artwork by Kara Fall
Presented by Maud Morgan Arts
July 8 - August 23, 2013
Cambridge is made of Scrabble tiles. It is also made of Popsicle sticks, burlap, cowrie shells, chopsticks, and vinyl records. Artist Kara Fall’s current exhibit at the Chandler Gallery is called “Deeki – Cambridge Nights” because he created the works from objects he found during his nighttime strolls through the streets of Cambridge. “Deeki” is a word in Wolof, a language of West Africa, meaning “to revive” or “to give new life.”
Ibrahima Nabi Youbi Coulibaly, the self-taught painter and sculptor who exhibits his work under the name Kara Fall, maintains two studios: one in Cambridge and one in Dakar, Senegal, the city of his birth. His formative influences include the Dogon and Mandinka cultures of West Africa, and jazz. Standing beside two of his paintings, Fall points to the football-shaped faces mounted on necks as long as sunflower stems. He says that Miles Davis’ “Amandla” inspired these works and that the upturned faces imitate Davis’ posture for playing the trumpet. On the faces, rings of blue, black and gold surround each of two tiny white dots. “The sky is descending into their eyes,” says Fall.
At “Deeki – Cambridge Nights,” the viewer can delight in rediscovery. “In the case of the recycled material I let the object take me where it wants to go,” says Fall—and the viewer follows. Textures beckon as rough twine crisscrosses behind smooth metal, soft pockets rest near wide-toothed saw blades, and porous slats interrupt a shiny circle like hour marks on a sundial. The viewer may play at guessing each object’s original purpose or imagine the lives of the object’s former owners. Then the viewer can interrogate the connection between each work and the pieces of Cambridge that went into its creation. It is an activity so captivating, even Fall cannot resist participating: “When working, I am the artist; when the work goes out into the world, I become part of the public… As the public comes out to see my work, I am part of them, and [I] have the eye of the spectator.”
“Deeki – Cambridge Nights” is on display at the Chandler Gallery from July 8 through August 23, with an opening reception on July 26 from 6-8 p.m., featuring a performance by world-renowned balafonist Balla Kouyate. For more information about Kara Fall, visit his website: www.ickarafall.com. Maud Morgan Arts is a program under the umbrella of the Agassiz Baldwin Community, a private, non-profit organization with a forty-year history of quality programs and services in the Cambridge community. Maud Morgan Arts comprises a full arts program of classes and workshops for all ages, the Chandler Gallery, and a collection of original art by noted artist and community resident Maud Morgan (1903-1999). The agency works to reflect the diversity of talents of the community, bringing people together to make art, share art, and support visual arts education.