Episode 3: Andrew Wilson with Ángel Rafael Vázquez-Concepción

Notes from MoAD

Episode 3: Andrew Wilson with Ángel Rafael Vázquez-Concepción

By Angel Rafael Vázquez-Concepción May 9, 2018

Notes from MoAD is dedicated to the Museum of the African Diaspora’s Emerging Artist Program, giving the exhibiting artists an opportunity to discuss their featured exhibition at MoAD and how their art practice is in dialogue with contemporary art as it considers themes of the African diaspora.


In this episode, Curator and Educator Angel Rafael Vázquez-Concepción sits down with artist Andrew Wilson to discuss his exhibition, Equivalencies: Abandoned Bodies, at Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) showing from March 28 to June 03, 2018.

Equivalencies: Abandoned Bodies aims to process the ways in which we remember people in relation to their physical space and the objects associated with their bodies. It investigates how we commemorate the dead, thinking through the slippage between life and death and the honoring of the ephemeral objects left in the wake of those departed.

As a multimedia artist, Andrew Wilson, utilizes comparable scale and measurements of the infamous slave ship Brookes’ plan to organize this exhibition. Each platform holds objects of the deceased - a sewing machine, bronze cotton boll husks, cowrie shell regalia, an American Empire chair, a pocket watch, human hair, and crowns. Each item serves as a reminder of the departed individuals and elevates these mundane objects to a supernatural realm on grave-like plinths.

Equivalencies: Abandoned Bodies invites us to contemplate the parallels between those who have passed and their lingering presence in our memories as we take them with us in the future.

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Andrew Wilson is an Oakland-based artist. He received his MFA  in 2017 from University of California, Berkeley. His work is partly autobiographical and partly involved in a larger national and global conversation. He works at the intersections of Black male masculinity and sexuality in the American imaginary and the systematic consumption of Black bodies from their transport across the globe. In particular, He is interested in the ways in which fashion is a language of consumption and utilizing this language as a means to talk about the ways in which enslaved Africans were etched into ship manifests and diagrams and made inhuman. In this way, He wants to reclaim the document of the Stowage of the British Slave Vessel Brookes and utilize it as a textile to implicate the viewer and wearer.

Angel Rafael Vázquez-Concepción, (b. 1981, Puerto Rico) independent curator and artist based in San Francisco, California, founder of Cranium Corporation. His work oscillates between the rigor and structure of research and writing and the design of exhibitions. He privileges collaboration and is a firm believer in art as a tool for education and civics. In 2015, Vázquez-Concepción obtained a Master’s in curatorial practice from the California College of the Arts. He has curated exhibitions at the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, and ÁREA: Space for Projects, in Caguas, Puerto Rico. In San Francisco and Oakland, California, he has contributed exhibitions to the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Minnesota Street Project, CTRL + SHFT Collective, the Red Poppy Art House, Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, and the GLBT History Museum. He is currently pursuing a credential in history and social sciences education at San Francisco State University.

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