Besides confirming yet again that the collaboratively edited online encyclopedia is a wack source for journalistic research, the rationale behind the deletion struck me as ironic considering how much success plays into the theme of the celebrated visual artist's latest collection. All Dat Glitters Aint Goals takes aim at the performance of "success" in black male culture by holding up a mirror to the absurd proliferation of niggerific images in contemporary pop.
Pecou's own international success in the art world has come largely from his penchant for pointing out such ironies. He tackled the cult of celebrity by turning himself into one. His resulting collection of "Fahamu Pecou is the Shit" self-portraits, painted with him gracing art-magazine covers, served as dual commentary on the art world's air of exclusivity and pretentiousness.
This time, his deconstruction of black masculinity also tests the limits of the fine arts world by taking the exhibit beyond the white walls of the gallery. In conjunction with the art collection, Pecou released a 5-song EP of original hip-hop inspired by, and titled after, the paintings in All Dat Glitters. Though the exhibit debuted last September at the Lyons Wier Gallery in New York, he's recently taken it into overdrive with the release of two new music videos for the project (see below the jump) and the announcement of a mobile app to be released next week. On May 31, the Fahamu Pecou Art app goes live on iPhones and iPads, featuring the current exhibition, accompanying music, and other interactive content.
The combined art and sounds of All Dat Glitters Aint Goals serve as both a cultural critique on the played-out tropes of black masculinity pervasive in mainstream rap and a grand lyrical statement of Pecou's alternative worldview. It's not the first time the artist - who penned his own lyrics for the project - has offered up a meta-rap critique. But while his former dabblings on the mic have come in the form of comic parodies (The Soggy Bottom Boys, Shit Gangsta Rappers Say), the All Dat Glitters EP is a serious work of art. He enlisted the help of a host of Atlanta-based hip-hop heavies, including producer Illastrate, emcees stic.man of Dead Prez, Yamin Semali, Methuzulah, Mike Flo, Ekundayo, DT, Boog Brown, Joe D, Massive, Divine, G.R.E.A.T. Scott, and vocalist Jamila Crawford.
When I visited Fahamu Pecou last August at his Decatur home, he was in his garage studio putting the finishing touches on "Shiny Things," the last painting in his latest collection. He'd just run out of some new glitter paint made out of gold and was planning to make a run for some more before the art store closed. When I asked him if it shined like gold on the canvas, he said it was so subtle that you wouldn't really be able to tell but the effect was still ill. It felt like a cool metaphor for the theme behind the whole exhibit. Below are excerpts from the rest of our conversation, including Pecou's honest query about how Gucci Mane sleeps at night, and his admission that he used to steal his big brother's raps back in the day and spit them at school as if they were his own.
Sounds like perfect fodder for a Wikipedia page, in case anyone's interested.
Can you break down the concept behind the project for me?
City Hall wants to make at least 500 seven-speed bicycles available for the masses to rent, according to a much-anticipated Request for Proposals that City Hall officials released today. If implemented, Atlanta would join the ranks of cities around the world such as Boston, Washington, D.C., and Miami that make it easy for people to check out a bicycle for short periods of time.
Rebecca Serna of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition says a successful bike-share program could encourage more people to ride bikes throughout the city.
"People who never thought they would ride a bike in the city find that it's an easy way to go to lunch down the street or run an errand," she says. "It builds in a social and physical element to your workday."
Typically under bike-share programs, people sign up for an annual membership, which allows them to "rent" quality bicycles from kiosks strategically located around the city. When they're finished using the bike, they can bring it back to any kiosk. In other cities, bikes are often GPS-enabled to discourage theft.
The concept, which has been under discussion among bicycling and transportation wonks for the last few years, received a big push after a study commissioned by the ABC and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. The document found that bike-share programs would first be feasible in Midtown and Downtown and later the Atlanta University Center and West End. Serna also says it could become one of the most inexpensive ways to travel around town. City officials say in the RFP that interested companies should give the study, which noted that bicycles should be accessible in many different parts of Atlanta, a close read. The nonprofit is now conducting an equity study and health impact assessement about bike-share programs.
The potential impact a successful bike-share program could have on the city is interesting to ponder. Not just in terms of getting people out of their cars (and those same cars off the road), but in how it could change the way the city looks. More people using bicycles could mean more investments in bike lanes and other facilities. It could create more vibrant streets. And, inevitably, spark more online battles between motorists and bicyclists and debates about helmet use. Which are all good debates to have!
But first we have to start a bike-share program. Want to compete? Head to City Hall on June 6 at 10 a.m. for a pre-proposal conference. Proposals are due by 1:59 p.m. on June 24.
After the jump, view the city's RFP and ABC's feasibility study.
According to the city's new political maps that take effect in 2014, Jones is actually a resident of District 5. That means he will now face off against Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong and fellow candidate Matt Rinker."I have successfully amended all of the required legal paperwork, and updated my campaign website to reflect my run for District 5's seat instead," Jones tells CL.
The 26-year-old pricing analyst, unfazed by "shifting lines on a city map," says he remains confident and will continue to push a direct democracy platform. Last year, he developed the Atlanta Direct Democracy Interface, a website that he says combines elements of Wikipedia and Reddit and will allow constituents to vote on city proposals.
"My goal of creating a direct democracy still stands," Jones says. "I am unwavering in my mission to drastically improve the level of communication and transparency between elected representatives and their constituents, and to create a vote-counting system that holds council members accountable to the will of the people."
To reflect his campaign changes, Jones will adopt a new 'Jon Jone5' logo and sell a new line of swag. Campaign in style, District 5.
The developers did manage to preserve the Starbucks. The Atlanta Business Chronicle says the coffee chain's location on the intersection will temporarily move and relocate into the new building's ground floor once construction of the 23-unit condo building is complete.
One upside: The building won't come with a brand new surface parking lot. A spokesman tells us that a bridge will connect the building to the adjacent Viewpoint parking deck, which Loudermilk owns.
Laughs prove almost purposefully lacking in The Hangover Part III, but it's not because the jokes fail, so much as they scarcely exist. The previous chapters in the trilogy skirted as close as possible to film noir conventions as a group of friends, nicknamed "The Wolfpack," retraced their lost memories following a night of unspeakable decadence. The second film replicated the same premise and comic set-ups as the original, only transplanted from Las Vegas to Bangkok. For Part III, director/co-writer Todd Phillips responds to criticism of the previous film by dispensing with the drug-induced blackouts to deliver a crime flick with occasional sight gags and pratfalls.
Galifianakis' pervy man-child Alan exhibits even more erratic behavior than normal, until his family and friends stage an intervention. The Wolfpack (including Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and perpetual also-ran Justin Bartha) reunites to drive Alan to an Arizona mental facility. Unfortunately they're run off the road and kidnapped by pig-masked goons, who deliver them to a blustering mob boss named Marshall (John Goodman).
After much controversy, Wilcox County High School decided yesterday to officially sponsor a prom in 2014. It'll mark the first time the school has hosted the dance, effectively ending the practice separating black and whites proms, which were privately organized by some parents and students.
"After conducting a survey of students and staff, WCHS Principal Chad Davis has stated that his Leadership Team and faculty have decided to host the school's first school-sponsored prom in the spring of 2014," a statement said on Wilcox County Schools' website.
Over the past year, student Mareshia Rucker and several of her peers from the rural 9,000-person county, located more than two hours south of Atlanta, attempted to end the decades-old practice of segregated proms. Their efforts culminated last month with the 2013 integrated prom - an event that made international headlines.
"I'm glad that they're doing what they're supposed to do," Rucker tells CL. "I just feel like it shouldn't have taken all of this for them to do it."
The statement from Wilcox County Schools says that faculty, students, and parents will join forces in late July to form a committee and plan planning and fundraising efforts for the 2014 prom.
- Anchorman 2 has flown the coop, but here are two parting items: first, a picture of Kanye West filming and looking retro, and some words from director Adam McKay about our fair city to AJC Buzz: "You guys have good food. I had to really fight gaining weight. We liked Flying Biscuit. We liked Ecco and The Optimist. ... Judd Apatow came back a couple of times and half-admitted that he was coming back for the fried chicken at South City Kitchen."
- Need for Speed, starting Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper filmed at STK on Wednesday. There were also production signs spotted near the Clairmont Rd exit off of I-85. Production is slated to move to my hometown of Columbus in June.
- The Universal Studios production Endless Love, a remake of the 1981 film with Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt, has just begun filming locally, this time starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde. Filming locations so far include Fayetteville and Decatur (as of Thursday).
- Solace, starring Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins, will start filming this week on West Peachtree. The movie is about an "FBI detective who seeks the help of a retired and reclusive doctor to try and solve a series of grisly murders. The doctor was a wiz at the murder game, but lost his mojo when his daughter died tragically. Desperate, the detective presses the doctor to come out of retirement for one more case" (points deducted for the person who wrote this up and included "mojo" in the same sentence as "murder game" and "daughter died tragically"). According to OLV, Farrell will play the serial killer, Hopkins plays the doctor. The project is also looking for adult men and women of all ethnicities, so email Solaceextras(at)gmail(dot)com with a photo if you are interested!
The Decatur Arts Festival returns to Old Courthouse Square with 165 exhibiting artists showing work throughout Memorial Day Weekend. Their website has the full rundown of programming.
More arts events after the jump.
An Alpharetta church organist at Saint Brigid Catholic Church was allegedly forced to quit his position because he was gay. "One of the parishoners there was trolling on my Facebook and brought in a couple of pictures of me and my fiance and maybe some of the things I was saying in support of marriage equality," Nick Johns said.
Fun fact: Bon Jovi almost owned a slice of the Falcons. But he backed out. Forbes explores why it was a bad decision for the New Jersey rocker.
In response to President Barack Obama's shift in drone policies and continuing calls to close Guantanamo Bay, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said that "the president's speech today will be viewed by terrorists as a victory."
President Obama also gets heckled during his Guantanamo Bay remarks.
The Boy Scouts of America finally end its ban on gay members.
1. David Gillham at Ivy Hall
2. Bubbapalooza at the Star Bar
3. Steve-O at the Punchline
4. Seminar continues at Actor's Express
5. Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics and more at Terminal West
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