asanyah_davidson_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — People of the African Diaspora have a rich and complex history supported by an intrinsic tapestry of DNA and ancestral influences, including an ability to create and tell stories through multiple mediums.

Artists of color, particularly poets and writers, often reflect the skill and talent of the ancient griot — the repository of oral tradition — using proverbs, parables, symbolism, song, music, dance, sculpture, body art, fashion and the powerful call of the drum to communicate. 

Living within the milieu of people who make up the fabric of America, with the division of races and separation from one’s ancestral land, can lend the feeling of being alienated from markers of identity in a geographical context, perhaps aptly described as Culture Clash.

Thus the art and fashion show of that name.

GRIOT VIBES

Culture Clash comes in the context of the griot traditions, now more commonly known as theatre, with a flair that speaks to the history of fashion, its evolution and recycling.

In a new collaboration with Jamaican fashion designer Asanyah Davidson,, creative director and founder of Circa 24, Bahamian-American multidisciplinary artist Alexis Caputo will present excerpts from her Afro Diaries: Visual Verse series, coupled with the Afrocentric fashion designs of Davidson, on Saturday, July 21, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m., at the 1310 Gallery (Sailboat Bend Artists’ Lofts/Artspace), 1310 S.W. Second Ct., Fort Lauderdale. The event is free and open to the public.

The Culture Clash opening night exhibit also will include visual art by Niki Lopez, Andrew Ackermen, Greg Dubois, Greg Gibs, Kareem Piper and Detourbutterfly; performances by Adjanie; and the added element of music by DJ Onestar, a Cameroonian and French DJ known for his marriage of music to arts and cultural events; and DJ Lerue; in addition to live performances by Dana Della Camera of Nakeddown; and Atlanta’s Profound Breadth, who has opened for artists including Flo Rida, B.o.B., Ludacris, New Boyz, Gorilla Zoe and Bubba Sparxxx.

WITHOUT APOLOGY

Davidson, who describes her fashion line as “fierce sophistication,” says fashion “is a vehicle to communicate culture and change a person’s perspective about themselves. Sometimes expressing culture leaves people feeling alien from the collective, but being apart also means standing out. Transforming people through fashion allows them to find and see beautiful stories that are hidden within. I want people to be able to sit and see the self.”

“The concept behind Culture Clash appealed to me most as a woman, woman artist and woman of the Diaspora,” said Caputo, who integrates story narratives in a historical context for diverse mediums, fused with poetry and spoken word. 

“I am always interested in dialogue where women, particularly, can dialogue and cross exchange about the identity markers of race, identity and culture. The Afro Diaries project serves as a platform for just that. We are separate, yet equal in the right to celebrate our race, identify and culture without apology.” 

Caputo has written vignettes in theatrical style for Davidson’s part two unveiling of her new and extended evening line of Circa 24 fashions, inspired by her muse, Grace Jones, fresh on the heels of her recent runway exhibit at the Caribbean Fashion week in her native Jamaica and at the Re:Vision exhibit at the 1310 Gallery, where she showcased her daytime fashion line in May.  Davidson’s next endeavor is a return to London to showcase there. 

Culture Clash is being presented by fellow Jamaican and Panamanian, Lopez.

“Culture Clash brings diverse groups together and cultivates positive energy,” said Lopez. “I have a different way of approaching art shows. I choose art that reflects the vibrancy and energetic aesthetics not always seen in galleries.”

ALIEN SELF

Lopez is known for exploring the concept of “alien” in her work. Alien isn’t just about the cosmos, she says.

“We’re all aliens in some way, being transplanted in new surroundings and having new frames of mind. At our root, our ancient knowledge remains alien to us in some ways.”

The artists describe Culture Clash as a bridge to inspire people to explore and rediscover the forgotten elements of themselves and the effects of modern influences on individual perspectives, unexplored truths, ancient traditions, the concept of art, identity through fashion and examining what is alien, what is foreign and unknown.