Justin Tyler Bryant
I embrace improvisation and negation as I engage with seemingly insignificant details. By formulating strategies within my process, my work becomes a continuation of the resilience and innovation of African diasporic people. I look to call-and-response, poetry, and various forms of communication as a protective sensibility. I honor this sensibility while recontextualizing familiar media such as drawings, paintings, prints, performance, and video. I mine my own experience and relationship with history and media as a suggestion for viewers to take on their own investigations. Malleability is essential to understanding Blackness. These acts find themselves, as theorist Brent Hayes Edwards puts it (referring to African diasporic poetics), “unmade and redone at every turn.” I’m interested in these “unmade and redone” components as an evolving potentiality that suspends notions of Blackness into a space that does not fetishize critique. Rather, the existence of the work posits the understanding of Blackness as something that is not always revealed on the surface of things.