Quotes by: Rashid Johnson
I've been interested in LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka's work for quite a while. My first introduction to LeRoi Jones was when my mother used to read me the 'Dead Lecturer' poems when I was a kid.
As an artist, I've always felt most comfortable outside of the art supply store. So domestic materials are the ones that most help inform what I'm trying to talk about and our familiarity as a whole - kind of the collective us, I guess.
I attempted to do yoga in German, and it was not particularly successful. So at that time, I started thinking about the idea of just movement and how I could move to de-stress.
My father had a big brick cell phone, before anyone had a cell phone, because he was really just into that kind of thing - communication devices. I grew up between my father's laboratory and my mother's library.
The thing that turned out to be interesting about CB radios was the ability to call out in the world with anonymity. You choose your handle. Race and class become non-signifiers.
'The New Black Yoga' originally was born from a film that I had made prior called 'Black Yoga.' And I was living in Berlin at the time, dealing with a lot of anxiety and stress around the project that I was working on, which is not an abnormal thing for me.
I was going through a divorce, and I had a lot of reading I was doing, and I developed what was probably a serious anxiety problem - because I was about as poor as you can get, in graduate school, and trying to make my work and keep my head above water.
The way that light hits objects, I think, is one of the more important things that sculpture and photography share.
What I really hoped to do with my work was to at least be able to define my relationship to race.
I don't have any other skills. Some artists say that to mean that their embodied passion for art gave them no choice. I say it, very specifically, to say that I really didn't have any other options.
Dealing with actors is incredibly complex because they oftentimes are like pieces of clay. They want to be told how you want it done. You have to then decide if you want to be the teller or if you want to give them agency.