Artist Statement

 

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The premise my work represents is a form of new-myth making in regards to the African-American experience as a universal component of the world community. My investigations as a media and performance artist have lead me towards collaborations with other artist in producing my video/performance art compositions.  I create innovative works by imaginatively combining performative oral narratives in conjunction with video technologies.  Images and sound are woven into a syntactical pictorial vision.  These compositions become a blend of sound art and video allegory.  This work is a reflection of the contemporary American cultural landscape, diverse in its scope and context.  I utilize the genre of storytelling exemplified by the African Griot or Bardic tradition (one who is the keeper of the cultural myths and histories of their community). The griot's function whether (female or male) is to tell these tales in an oratorical style of song and music. 

They range from traditional stories and myths and their expressions to high tech/digital video imagery edited with state-of-the-art post-production video processing techniques.  The emphasis on sound and music in my video compositions have lead to the formulation of my conceptual art band, "Othervisions", in which I play guitar and write most of he lyrics and vocalize their delivery and collaborate on writing the music. We have created soundtracks for all my latest video compositions and CD's.  I have researched various world cultures to locate their intersecting connections, including the inter-connectedness of cultural rhythms and sound.  The work I have produced has been an out reach towards universal themes and an antidote towards cultural dominance and indifference.  I am of the opinion that there is more to be gained by investigating our cultural similarities than pursuing and emphasizing our differences.  Therefore I apply the griot's tradition to inform and enlighten all of society.  This multi-disciplinary approach serves the work I have developed and is reflected in the work I produce.

 

THE ART OF
ULYSSES JENKINS

 

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