Shaka Dendy | June 3–August 23, 2019 PDF Print E-mail

Shaka Dendy
June 3–August 23, 2019

Opening Reception | Unveiling of Gestures of Incompleteness, free and open to the public

BCA Public Plaza, South End
In front of 551 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
Thursday, August 8 | 6–9 pm

Gestures of Incompleteness

Shaka Dendy’s 2019 Public Art Project Gestures of Incompleteness is motivated by the artist’s intention to take his artwork outside of the gallery or museum setting and instead, to make it as accessible as possible by meeting people where they already are­—including the BCA’s public, outdoor Plaza in the South End and in community centers in nearby city neighborhoods. For Dendy, it is equally important to share the idea that anything can be art—even community service—so we can broaden the horizon of artistic possibilities beyond painting and marble statues.

While in residence in Boston Center for the Arts’ Artist Studios Building from June 3–August 23, 2019, Dendy will organize a series of public basketball drives, where kids can sign up to trade in a used basketball for a brand new one, with the used balls finding new life as part of a large scale public sculpture to be located on BCA’s public Plaza from August 8–November 10, 2019.

The specific style of this project, integrating basketballs as a motif into performative work and sculpture, is a continuation of Dendy’s use of art installations and performance centered around basketball as a way to discuss racial and personal identity, socioeconomic mobility, and the commodification of the body. With this project, he is particularly interested in exploring the symbolic and formal relationships between the basketball and the milk crate. For Dendy, not only are milk crates often used as stand-ins for basketball hoops when people do not have access to or money for one; there is also an implicit suggestion that, should one learn to manipulate a basketball well enough, they could attain a socioeconomic status which would allow them to never interact with milk crates and their proletariat associations.

Overall, this project is primarily about giving back to the community through art and in direct, tangible ways, while making sure the community is acknowledged and included in the public art that will inhabit their space. In Gestures of Incompleteness, Dendy’s milk crate sculptures stand as monuments to the act (the basketball drives). Their incompleteness is a nod to the necessity of community in public art, the fact that this project is incomplete without the inclusion of the community.

Public events

Basketball Drives | Info and sign-up; free and open to the public.

BCA Public Plaza, South End
In front of 551 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
Thursday, July 11 | 4–6:30 pm
Friday, July 12 | 4–6:30 pm

Yawkey Boys & Girls Club of Roxbury
Open exclusively to Club members
Monday, July 22

Black Market, Dudley Square
2136 Washington Street, Roxbury, Massachusetts 02119
Friday, July 26 | 12–3 pm

Bodega, Back Bay
6 Clearway Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Friday, August 2 | 12–4 pm

Opening Reception | Unveiling of Gestures of Incompleteness, free and open to the public

BCA Public Plaza, South End
In front of 551 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
Thursday, August 8 | 6–9 pm

Special thanks to Randi, Andrew, Jean, Cera, Paula, Phyllis, and all the BCA staff involved in this project; Lavell Burton and the Yawkey Boys & Girls Club of Roxbury; Oliver, Mike, Dan, Matt, Ricky, Eddie, Eddie, and the entire Bodega team; Hallie, Betsey, and Nohemi at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; and Kai, Christopher, and Milkshaw at Black Market Dudley for all of your support and hospitality. Thank you to Charlene Sears-Tolbert, Vicky O’Grady, Darlene Dykes, and Ronnie Slayman for donating new basketballs. Thank you to Chris, Liv, and the rest of the install team. Thank you to my friends, colleagues, and mentors who have helped me to and through this project.

New Basketball Donors
Charlene Sears-Tolbert, Vicki O’Grady, Darlene Dykes, Ronnie Slayman

Old Basketball Donors
BCA Plaza 7/11 Grey, Myles, David, Lilliana, members of IBEW Local 103 Boys & Girls Club 7/22 Ariana-Jade, Savannah, Tamryn, Hamida, Wesley, Maison, Braydon, Tate, Hatee, Brianna, Za’Nii, Mari, Na’Riyah, Kendra, Niema, Yolanda, Joy, Ibrani, Mon, Devin, AJ, Geovanny, Naami, Kheirah, Rosalis, Jayla, Wayne, Kastin, Lanie, Isaiah, Kyron, Rebecca, Yankarolos, Levan, Donta, Saerah Black Market 7/26 Jahziel, Abdiqadir, Elmi Bodega 8/2 Stewart, Gavi, Shay, Stephen, Brandon, Richie, Dart Adams



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