Lightnin’ Field is a commemoration to Houston blues musician Lightnin’ Hopkins, as well as to a Houston music venue Liberty Hall that was once located at 1610 Chenevert, on the edges of Houston’s downtown. The venue made a name for itself by featuring local and nationally known rock and roll and blues acts.
Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus’ body of work borrows from revisionist approaches within American history, particularly studies dealing with the formulation of black political and cultural movements. His work acts as a document of questioning, meditation and commemoration that seeks to distill, preserve and extend the ideas that fuel radical black political consciousness, social struggle and aesthetics. Cyrus’s narratives — both real and imaginary — highlight the complex relationships between history and the present through an unraveling of visual, performative and textual sources.
On view at the Main Street Marquee — a 40 by 60-foot art space affixed to the façade of 901 Main Street in downtown Houston’s Main Street Square — the work is part of a temporary art project titled Art Blocks, which is aimed at revitalizing a geographically significant pedestrian promenade in the heart of the city through engaging place-making installations and creative programming.
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