Set in a surreal, atemporal reality, Looking for “Looking for Langston” follows two characters, a sailor and a sea captain, stranded on a beach and gazing longingly at the horizon offshore; the horizon set before them, and its unfixed nature in separating the sea from the sky, is representative of an unreachable destination and of things outside of one’s grasp.
Ada M. Patterson’s exhibition considers the affinities between truth and the imaginary. The video calls to Looking for Langston (1989), by artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien, an impressionistic documentary on the life of poet Langston Hughes and the social circumstances of the Harlem Renaissance during which he worked.
Ada M. Patterson (Bridgetown, 1994) is a visual artist, writer, and educator based between Barbados, London, and Rotterdam. Working with masquerade, textiles, performance, video, and poetry, she tells stories and imagines elegies for ungrievable bodies and moments. Patterson is the 2020 NLS Kingston Curatorial & Art Writing Fellow. They have exhibited with LADA, London; Barbados Museum & Historical Society, Bridgetown; TENT, Rotterdam; Ateliers ’89, Oranjestad; Alice Yard, Port-of-Spain. Her writing has featured in ARC Magazine, Sugarcane Magazine, PREE, Mister Motley, and Metropolis M.