Since 2002, I've had the opportunity to create contemporary performance work on professional dance theatre companies in both Cuba and Ghana West Africa. During numerous trips to both countries, what has inspired me the most has been the chance to capture photographic images of family life, participating in both ritual ceremony or daily activities, typically in small villages or rural communities. The photographs I've shared distill moments of preparation for ceremony, ritual possession, as well as common activities witnessed in Dzodze Ghana and Adjodogou Togo in 2007 and 2010. Within any culture, I'm always intrigued with the ability and resourcefulness with which art or craftwork becomes manifest. In Africa I would often marvel at both artifacts and sacred altars created from simple and readily available materials. For this project a personal goal that I presented for myself, as an urban American artist, was to utilize my resources as inexpensively and immediately accessible to me as possible.
Images from Dzodze Ghana and Adjodogou Togo 2010
Suggesting multiple histories or perhaps many different truths, each surface image is hiding approximately 60 different photographs obscured and sealed behind it. A multi-layered query offering a reservoir of many secrets, what is shared on the surface is only the beginning of one story. Materials: Photo Xerox paper reprints, ink, string, plastic, metal, glass.
One Secret Never to be Told 2011
At the core of this work is the notion of stillness, ancestral worship, questions of survival and what remains. Materials: Earth, water, air, ash, metal, wood, glass, found objects/artifacts.
See Brian's Photographs