Thursday, February 12, 2009

Black Popular Culture as Source: A screening and conversation with artist Michael Paul Britto, Thursday, February 12 @ 7pm


Black Popular Culture as Source:
A screening and conversation with artist Michael Paul Britto

A public program held at The Paul Robeson Center for the Arts
in conjunction with the exhibition Video Lounge: Michael Paul Britto's Dirrrty Harriet Tubman
Thursday, February 12 @ 7pm

Paul Robeson Center for the Arts
102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
P:609-924-8777 F:609-921-0008

The exhibition presents two innovative videos and related ephemera by New York-based artist Michael Paul Britto that humorously and creatively stage the life and times of Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave who became one of the major conductors of the Underground Railroad. Deeply inspired by popular culture, Britto often appropriates styles and elements found in popular films, music and television. In Dirrrty Harriet Tubman (2005), for example, Britto adopts a 1970s Blaxploitation film style to render Harriet Tubman's heroic real-life achievements accessible to contemporary viewers. In another, Tubman is the lead dancer in an unofficial, choreographed music video to Britney Spears' 2003 hit I'm a Slave 4 U. In these works, Britto encourages viewers to explore the relationship between contemporary popular culture and history.

About the Artist
New York based artist Michael Paul Britto began his career as a child, making mock television shows with his aunt's VHS camera to amuse his family. Completely self taught and trained in desktop editing and imaging, Britto shoots his own material, edits at home and manipulates the images he collects. In 1999, Britto graduated with a cum laude Bachelors Degree in Communications, Film and Video from the City College in New York. Since 2000, Britto has presented his works widely in solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as: the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT; El Museo del Barrio, NY, NY; the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, NY; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw Poland; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ; and Rush Arts Gallery, NY, NY, among many others.

Video Lounge: Michael Paul Britto's Dirrrty Harriet Tubman is the first installment of an on-going series that presents noteworthy video projects on the second floor lounge/lobby space of the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts.

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