Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Gallery Watch: Total Running Time by Jibade-Khalil Huffman at Magenta Plains

Text and photos by Clare Gemima

Total Running Time by Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Magenta Plains, 94 Allen St.

Having stumbled across Magenta Plains awaiting the results of the election, my mood was tense and suspended. I was cynical and in urgent need of a distraction, but entering this gallery gave me so much more than that. I was elated by what I saw the second I walked into the almost disguised gallery space on Allen Street (refer to the top photo to avoid missing it entirely).
The atmosphere was moody and engrossing. Neons, vocal soundscapes and jolted light flashings from unconventionally hung projectors filled the two-storied gallery space. 

Total Running Time presents a multifaceted insight into the practice of inter-disciplinary artist Jibade-Khalil Huffman, a successful writer and poet working with text and imagery to re-imagine and challenge semiotic hierarchies. His object making involves the re-contextualization of text presented through densely layered video pieces, light work, moving imagery and digital stills. 

The exhibition includes photographic lightboxes and digital photo-collages printed onto transparencies that are manipulated and scrutinized by looped video projections. Layering visuals for Huffman intentionally speaks to conversations and language pertinent to race and visibility. 

Upon looking at a projected transparency work, you’ll find yourself becoming confused about what is printed and what is projected while being completely mesmerized by the piece and its much larger light leak onto the back wall. The prints are saturated with color and cartoon graphics, making for an almost psychedelic and explosive experience. 

Huffman’s work confronts serious subject matter while colliding loose and dated graphics together such as paint-by-number motifs, classic television stills, advertisements from the 1960s and iconography from various American comic books. 

His work embraces contemporary interests such as the degradation of digital media while also saluting recognizable imagery to draw his viewers in. Because of the ephemeral nature of Huffman’s work, I suggest Total Running Time be a show you visit more than once. 

Whether his pieces juxtapose illustrations with video or projections with digital prints, his work looks and feels different with every photographic iteration, video capture and sensory interaction. 

Total Running Time by Jibade-Khalil Huffman is showing at Magenta Plains until Dec. 16. 

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Clare Gemima is a visual artist from New Zealand. New-ish to the East Village, she spends her time as an artist assistant and gallery go-er, hungry to explore what's happening in her local art world. You can find her work here: 


Julius G. Klein said...

Thx for the suggestion, looking forward to checking out the show !!!

Anonymous said...

Gangs of the LES show at Public Access on St. Marks is a great show & worth a quick look