Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels’s platform We Buy Gold has launched a virtual exhibition entitled “FIVE.” Curated by artist Nina Chanel Abney, the show was conceived from a dialogue concerning the isolation of stay-at-home-orders and the current state of the world.
Organized into five feelings that have been experienced by many during the Coronavirus pandemic—anxiety, stillness, isolation, escapism, and fear—the digital show features video work by artists Nick Cave, Ilana Harris-Babou, Solange Knowles, Kalup Linzy, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Azikiwe Mohammed, Christie Neptune, Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Sondra Perry, Elliot Reed, and Jacolby Satterwhite.
“Exposing the fault lines of already fragmented nation states, COVID-19, for people of African descent, deepens political and economic fissures as we are confined to our homes and communicate personally, professionally, and politically through the screen,” said Bellorado-Samuels.
“FIVE.” encourages viewers to consider the place of art during a time of unrest, reminding us that artwork can assist us in both a higher understanding and reimagining our own reality. Asking questions like, “How do we simultaneously celebrate Black life and consecrate Black death?” and “What is the function of the work of art in crisis?” the exhibition offers a deeply thoughtful narrative and captivating experience—a noteworthy feat in a time when art in so many places is only accessible through a screen.
Featured in “FIVE.” are pieces like McClodden’s haunting Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I – The Visions, Trailer III-Steal Away; 43 minutes of entrancing movement by an amorphous figure in Cave’s Blot; and Nkosi’s film centered around Black Olympic gymnasts, Suspension (feat. Nonku Phiri and Dion Monti).
Before entering the exhibition, We Buy Gold is also encouraging visitors to contribute to Project Eats—a program working to build high-yield urban production farms in New York City to feed back into the local economy—highlighting the disproportionate effects of the global pandemic on communities of color.