A SHORTLIST OF ONLINE CULTURAL CONTENT FOR THE WEEK OF
April 4, 2021
Johnson-Ricks’ new work explores fellowship, engaging acts of fiction and poetry to capture moments with kith and kin that feel loving. He asks himself what it means to make a family, community, friendship, when the world is so precarious, when the water rises, when death comes, and when all that is visible is capital. While his older work had been in conversation with vernacular movement traditions and martial arts practices like Shotokan Karate and Jersey Club dancing, which act as covert languages for those most targeted for capital extraction, he now explicitly centers the fantastical and poetic nature of an uninterrupted mundane. The works find their dramatic tension in the context of fragility, addressing his subjects’ deep alienation from, and even guilt in the face of, extended moments of peace. In this light, Johnson-Ricks’ compositions become testaments to the irrepressible urge of the imagination to metabolize, to reinvent, and to transcend.