Red Bull Arts Features Dancehall Inspired Art Exhibition

“No Gyal Can Test” is the name of Ackeem Smith’s debut solo art exhibition. His work is being displayed at Red Bull Arts New York and will be running until June 28, 2020.

It will then move to Red Bull Arts Detroit for a fall showing.

The artist, creative director, and stylist’s display is a tribute to his intimacy with the island of Jamaica. Smith spent his early years between Kingston, Jamaica and New York. He uses his talents to investigate and display “slippages between memory archive and history, in turn, the weight of visibility and representation.”

“Ackeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test” features a series of large scale sculptures. The sculptures are constructed from the remains of demolished structures from Warehouse District in Kingston where he partially grew up. Ackeem has been collecting these pieces for over a year now.

Over the past decade, the artist has also managed to assemble an archive of VHS tapes and photographs. These he uses to compliment his sculptures by having multiple-screened displays of the over one hundred hours of video footage and photographs airing during the exhibition.  This combination provides the audience with a deeper understanding of the artist’s intentions. Smith asks his guests to “encounter this archive not as a catalog of something past, but as part of a larger, still-living exploration of a community rooted in celebration.”

Smith was born in 1991 in Brooklyn, New York. His experience and love for the dancehall culture stems from his childhood experiences working with his family’s fashion house, the OUCH Collective. They have been doing designs for prominent members of the dancehall community over the years.

Smith has always been an influential figure who works behind the scenes and has collaborated with artists and brands such as Deana Lawson, DIS, Helmut Lang, Hood by Air, K8 Hardy, Lizzie Fitch, and Ryan Trecartin, The Row, and Yeezy.


Source: Dancehallmag

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