An ongoing part of the artist's practice orbits around New Davonhaime, a city conceived of by Mohammed that provides a look at a sustainable version of a self-dictated future for black/African-American residents of this country, as well as being a site of interventions and actions in both formal and non-traditional exhibition spaces. Its name is derived from a linguistic mashup of the five American cities with the highest density of African-American residents in the U.S. (New Orleans, Louisiana; Detroit, Michigan; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; and Savannah, Georgia), and is a conceptual departure point for much of the artist's recent work.
New Davonhaime is also "home" to Jimmy, the artist's alter ego and the proprietor of Jimmy's Thrift of New Davonhaime, takes the form of an installation in the gallery. Jimmy is both the keeper of New Davonhaime's history and the stories imbedded in the objects on display in his shop, and he also functions as a griot, or traveling poet/storyteller that maintains oral histories. During the opening week of the exhibition, Jimmy will be present in the museum to engage with visitors.
"Blackest Night: A Survey in Blackness" draws from Mohammed's extensive travels throughout the U.S., which he has used largely as research trips, gathering information to create new objects while also gathering other objects from the towns that make up New Davonhaime. Also on view is a new series of photographic portraits. The exhibition will include a number of new works, including a large-scale neon sculpture.
This exhibition is part of SCAD deFINE ART 2019, held Feb. 26–28 at university locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia.