The SCAD Museum of Art presents "To Dream the Electric Dream," a solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based, multimedia, conceptual artist Saya Woolfalk. Her fantastical and elaborate artwork is rooted in the disciplines of anthropology, mythology and cultural studies. Woolfalk engages visual and cultural metaphors in her immersive afrofuturistic and Japanese inspired installations, tapestries, collages and paintings to explore how cultures differ and converge. As anthropologist and artist-messenger, Woolfalk engages with current and historical issues of colonization and self-identification.
Woolfalk’s study of how identities, cultures and myths fuse together inspired and informs her current body of work. For nearly a decade she has drawn from her multiracial lineage to create "The Empathics," her own hybridized plant and human species represented in part by the unexpected blending of a wide range of traditional artistic motifs. "The Empathics" were conceived by Woolfalk as a commentary on the intertwining of cultures in our increasingly globalized world, and as such, these fictional hybrids dissolve race, ethnicity and even taxonomy.
"To Dream the Electric Dream" chronicles the evolution of "The Empathics." These beings shed both physical and psychological layers before embracing new identities. "Chimera" is an installation of fiber elements and film that chronicles the transformation of "The Empathics." This culture is further mythologized by Woolfalk for her "Plant Alchemy" works on paper, which are supporting historical documentation of their species. Additional artifacts, hides and costumes are presented throughout this exhibition as evidence of "The Empathics" transformation.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.