Taking its title from lyrics to “Never Catch Me,” a song by Flying Lotus, featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar, this installation brings together a video work by lauren woods with sculptures by Joel Shapiro and Manuel Neri to reflect upon how we interpret images of historical events and human actions.
About Track 5: Lookin' down on my soul now
“Lookin' down on my soul now” takes its title from lauren woods’s video installation, which in turn echoes lyrics from “Never Catch Me,” a song by Flying Lotus, featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar. The song’s message of struggle and deliberation is reflected in woods’ imagery, a silent, looped projection of a man dancing in the street. What appears to be an act of joyful performance is revealed as an act of defiance and resistance: woods used footage from the 1963 Birmingham Campaign—better known for its stark images documenting police brutality in the form of firehoses and attack dogs used against protestors—reduced to this lone dancing figure. The unexpected jolt of discovering that this isolated man’s dance in the middle of a seemingly deserted street took place during one of the civil rights movement’s most significant anti-segregation efforts offers an opportunity to reflect upon how we interpret images of both historical events and human actions. Sculptures by Manuel Neri and Joel Shapiro did not arise from a comparable political context but nonetheless provide their own indelible impressions of poise, strength, and unlikely grace seized from a moment of precarity.
Discover more about sculpture. Find bonus content like video tours, inspiration playlists, and insights from curators, educators, and living artists.
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Teacher Resource: Manuel Neri
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