Photographs, audio installation.
Growing out of a similar project conducted in West Baltimore in 2011, Harlem Contemporary is a visual-auditory installation that chronicles the untold stories of the Harlem, as this community undergoes significant changes. Consisting of photographic portraits and recorded oral histories, mixed with accompanying musical and oral sound tracks (scored by Harlem based musicians), the piece features the neighborhood’s longest residents as well as its many contributors and strongest personalities.
As portraits of this stature have traditionally been linked to politicians and public figures, the components of Harlem Contemporary valorize the role of the everyday individual, bringing their features and personal histories to the forefront. Acknowledging the profoundly significant space that Sugar Hill occupies within the history of the Harlem Renaissance, this piece extends that foundation into the contemporary sphere, ultimately allowing for a recognition and memorialization of the cultural legacy that Sugar Hill continues to cultivate.
Original music by Frank Hooker Jr. and Jaime Bryce