Reflective Jester: It’s Just A Feeling develops a relationship between the world of dance, music, and visual art, forming a consistent presence and an active dialogue about self-expression and perceptions of identity through performance.
Christian Noelle Charles’ first solo exhibition takes on the presence of the Jester, defined as a professional fool or clown, especially at a medieval court and a modern day entertainer. Reflective Jester: It’s Just A Feeling considers the modern day entertainer as a resemblance to the Jester role and its circulation within the Black community, and Christian’s exploration and redefinition of the role through affectively mapping the registers of her personal life which unfolds through the exhibition spaces at CCA.
Taking inspiration from Cab Calloway, American jazz singer, dancer and band leader during the jazz and swing eras of the 1930s-40s, Christian’s work and performance reimagines the lively, energetic exuberance of jazz legends such as Nina Simone, Eartha Kitt and Charles Mingus. This masterful improvisation of Christian’s will showcase new works that are developed around her personal journey and upbringing, growing up in a dance studio, specialising in African dance, modern jazz and ballet.
Alaya Ang, CCA Curator, said “We are incredibly excited to have New York born, Glasgow-based artist Christian Noelle Charles present this first solo show at CCA that draws on her personal history and connection to dance and jazz. The visual legacy of the Jester and jazz legends such as Cab Calloway become symbols for Christian to examine and locate her own expression and identity. This space of rehearsing, of watching and being-watched creates an appealing question of the overexposed self.”
This exhibition is an expression of self-love that considers the challenge of defining one's individual appearance, yet celebrates the moments of freedom that lies within the experience to move, and to encompass visibility as multiple beyond comprehensible, racialised and gendered representations.
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