Jer’Lisa Devezin’s soft sculpture titled Beaucoup Shive / Madam C.J. Walker ain’t got nothin’ on me comprises millions of strands of discarded, found, and discounted synthetic and human hair in a towering monument to Black people and the residue they leave behind. From a distance, the sculpture suggests a black monolith and takes the form of graduated spheres stacked atop one another. Closer inspection reveals the incredible variety of textures and colors Devezin wove together to create Beaucoup Shive…’s rich and tactile surface, which not only appeals to the viewers’ sense of touch but gives off a subtle and sentimental aroma evocative of Black barber shops or hair salons. Intermittent audio emits from the sculpture, encouraging viewers to lean in a little closer to hear appropriated audio clips from popular Black movies and snippets of conversations Devezin recorded with shoppers at local beauty supply stores. The sculpture has a physical presence while simultaneously evoking the absent Black body.
Devezin will perform Kept once a week throughout the run of her Nasher Public exhibition. Ranging from 30 to 60 minutes, Kept is a series of durational performances during which Devezin treats the sculpture with such common Black hairstyling products as beeswax and styling spritz, and using techniques like hair rolling with hot water to ensure the sculpture maintains its overall shape and aesthetic while on view.
Kept performances will begin at noon on the following dates:
- Thursday, June 3, 2021
- Thursday, June 10, 2021
- Saturday, June 19, 2021