ExhibitionsPrevious Exhibitions

Children of Sirius
Curated by 2019 Black Box Curatorial Fellow Malachi Lily
Opening Friday, July 5, 2019 | 6-10pm

Children of Sirius

Friday, July 5, 2019 – Sunday, August 4, 2019
Curated by 2019 Black Box Curatorial Fellow Malachi Lily
Featuring: Marcelline Mandeng, Sabrina Pantal, Vitche-Boul Ra, Oro Ori, Alex Farr, Jordan Deal, Chlöe Marie and Nuna Ulises
Presented in The Front Space

About the Exhibition

Organized by 2019 Black Box Curatorial Fellow Malachi Lily, Children of Sirius is a group exhibition of sculptures, installations, photography and ephemera produced with or by the seven multi-disciplinary artists featured in Lily’s Children of Sirius performance events, held at Vox Populi in early June 2019. Exploring concepts of black divinity, the unconscious, mythology and survival, Children of Sirius is an extension of Lily’s ongoing work with queer, trans and gender non-conforming black artists that create spaces for self-love and collective consciousness.

Children of Sirius features collaborative portraits of all seven artists, photographed by Nuna Ulises, for which Lily styled each artist in the spirit of their own chosen deity. Additionally, Children of Sirius includes wearable found-object sculptures by Jordan Deal, masks and poetry by Oro Ori, costume-work by Marcelline Mandeng, sculpture by Alex Farr, and a site-specific installation by Vitche-Boul Ra, Chloe Marie, and Sabrina Pantal.

Performances by included artists will also be organized for the exhibition’s July First Friday Opening Reception on Friday, July 5 from 6-10pm.

About the Curator

Malachi Lily (they/them)
2019 Black Box Curatorial Fellow Malachi Lily is a shapeshifting, non-binary, black poet, artist, curator, and moth. They connect to the collective unconscious via energy work, active imagination, mysticism, myth, magick, folklore, and fairy tales. This channeling often takes the form of poetry and illustration, but at Vox Populi that work becomes curation as they connect to another artist’s energy and work beyond simply aesthetics. Malachi connects artists who are unconsciously vibrating together and uses their organizational skills to give them all a space to sing. Malachi’s curation forms a tangible permeation of a culture of Oneness – living in the reality that we all are manifestations of the same source energy and we all create our realities together. It is Malachi’s purpose to create space to uplift fellow black artists as gods, to bring balance and truth to their experiences. Malachi is a liminal being of race, gender, artistic practice, and existence reclaiming the spiritual body of black and brown people who experience generational trauma and colonization. Their work offers methods to break these individual barriers and reveals the symbols, archetypes, emotions, and lessons that exist in everyone as a collective consciousness, to heal, awake, and empower.
More information: maggielily.com / @theholyhawkmoth / @hawkmothevents

About the Artists

Jordan Deal (he/they)
Jordan Deal’s interdisciplinary practice merges sculpture, performance, painting and drawing, sound, and text play to create performance installations. Through the use of both worn and free-standing sculptures in his performances he interacts with the space questioning the interplay between the powers of race, gender, sex, and economic class. The work challenges the assumed roles of the body and aims to create dialogue around acknowledging and deconstructing micro-aggressions, while using play to explore relationship building between individuals and communities. His current work examines the dynamic between body and mind, physical and spiritual death and rebirth, role-play, and intimacy using characters he creates that transcend the normalities of sex and gender. Through this mode of storytelling, Deal confronts issues of conformity, submission and resistance, violence, and separatism.
More Info: @jordandealart

Alex Farr (they/them)
I am passionate about art that moves its audience to be better to themselves and each other, art of love and reverence, art of conflict, art that is expressly aware of the ways in which popular culture passively and actively consumes blackness.

I ceaselessly aim to explode the idea of a monolithic black identity in favor of a more fluid, imperfect, colorful understanding of self, love, queerness, and queer blackness.
More Info: @justmadnice

Chlöe Marie (she/they)
I want people to know me after they watch me do something.
And this is because I have a lot of questions about the performative body:
What is the difference between the performative body and the body that lives outside of that…. or is it even outside?
What is.
When I walk through the street I’m watching performance occur in every body.
When I sleep I’m dancing, when I eat I’m dancing, when I talk I’m dancing.
I have a lot of questions about the current state of our country, and I use my moving body as a means to explore new possibilities.
I’m interested in what happens to my mind when I undergo moments of remembering previous experiences.
Because of this I’m a victim to nostalgia, and to upholding previous experiences in ways more than just commenting on the brief moment of the past.
This means I believe the past is more than a memory, because I’m still deeply affected by it everyday.
In performance I hope to access selflessness.

Marcelline Mandeng (they/she)
Marcelline Mandeng is a Cameroonian born Black trans fem multidisciplinary artist based out of West Philly. As a cultural producer, they employ a variety of media such as performance, sculpture, video, music production and writing to archive deeply transformative aspects of their personal narrative centered around unearthing the divine, a process that began as an undergraduate at the Maryland Institute College of Art back in 2015. In their community based practice, they use this archive to trigger deep internal healing in other Black trans/non-binary folks as a reminder of the spiritual dimensions imbued in this identity. They’ve exhibited works at Macao Milano, Italy; Karma International in LA; MoMA PS1 in New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and Headlong Studios here in Philadelphia to name a few places.
More Info: @twoheadedsphinx

Oro Ori (honey/they/she)
More Info: @_oroori_

Sabrina Pantal (she/her)
Music has always been a form of expression for me. Being a self-taught musician has brought insecurity, but it also allows me to be more unique in the way I create. By combining trance-like melodies with layers of guitar, piano, and harmonies, I am able to translate more than just sounds that are pleasing to the ear. My lyrics are almost like spells that I cast and are usually based around the complexity of emotions that I feel throughout the many stages of my life. I like to explore and pull inspiration from different genres like jazz, psychedelic rock, soul, folk, and whatever else feels right in the moment. As a queer black woman deviating from the boxes that are put around the types of music we are “allowed” to produce, using this expression is very healing. I use these vibrations as a form of musical alchemy and hope that whoever is listening is left with feelings of peace and empowerment.
More Info: @soundsfromsabrina

Vitche-Boul Ra (he/him/vaïd)
In his primary studio practice, Vitche-Boul Ra utilizes recognizable dance language and colloquial gesture to develop performance works which manifest as play. The work applies irrationality in combination with the notion of dance as recreational labour to explore experiences of elitism and the mundane. Typically the performance attempts to unclearly articulate the relationship between performing body and viewing body. This is accomplished through language and spacial relationships—always building a matrix of power in flux with shifting accountability. Through repetition of gesture, doggy language, and direct questioning, Vitche-Boul Ra manipulates real time and recollection. He establishes a game inside the viewer, confronting them with their own memory, resulting in the reaffirmation of their securities while simultaneously destabilizing them. Can they follow, or better yet, aren’t they leading?. This technique opens up the performance space as a grounds for play—a hunting ground and a jungle gym.

Particularly in video, the works become unhinged playscapes for the body to occur in. Dealing with cyclicality, rhythm, antagonistic happenstance, and misplacement, Vaïd utilizes video space to generate unorthodox quests. Videoscape is used as a tool to reveal truths within the practice and furthermore immortalize the process of questioning, and questioning fictions, that becomes prevalent in the live performances. In this method, the body—and it’s baggage—are ejected from the “real” and placed into a dangerous site of scrutiny and imaginative intangibility. Vitche-Ra allows sound, dislocated text fragments, and muddy technicality to read the body to filth, resulting in a Digital Mysticism. Expanding this conversation into the quotidian self on the street, Vitche-Boul Ra investigates the many selves inside one form—the complexity of the physical body space. Experiencing his own body as a hosting vessel, Lix Vaïd reimagines the multiple self inside the corpus form as unstable to allow for abrupt transitions of linguistic style, cultural conditioning, and coded movement resulting in “P.E.”—the Performative Erryday [life].
More Info: @vitcheboulra