contemporary art

Jibade-Khalil Huffman

United States 1981

Installation, Performance Art, Photography, Video Art, Video Installation

Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
United States
January 23, 2015

Jibade-Khalil Huffman is an American artist, best known for his usage of performance, photography, and video that pushes the capabilities of text and image in order to tell stories and convey meaning. Drawing on his background in poetry, Huffman plays with timing and pacing in his visual work to tease out suspense, tension, expectation, and release. Born in Detroit in 1981, Huffman graduated from Bard College and Brown University, and got his MFA from the University of Southern California.

Using history or certain traditions as a ground from which to deviate, Huffman brings seemingly disparate subjects and objects into association without submitting to the ever-present temptation of over-determining their relationships. His work exists in an instant then disappears, which tend to be paradoxically mysterious, oddly familiar and yet completely unknown. Recognized for his experimentation in style and form, his video installations convey a youthful sense of ‘what it means to be here, now’ – existentially, socially, culturally, and aesthetically, lending to an always-shifting sense of place and memory, an aesthetic of the edit, an element of the absurd, and an appeal for heightened perception.

In his most recent work, Huffman explores both language and image-based structures, colliding poetry with the underlying, pre-ordained structures of cinema, photography, and other mediated forms of communication. Infrastructural systems found in filmmaking, including title sequences, credits and musical cues, are coopted by Huffman as new sites or prompts for a more complicated narrative or aesthetic. The idea of language as something fundamentally manipulable and playfully nonsensical, concerned more with itself than the shadow of its physical referent, also applies to Huffman’s visual sense.

Huffman’s artistic process is exemplified in The Forms of Love, video installation from 2013, in which five slide projectors face the same corner of a room, with their images overlapping. Each projector is set to a different speed and the carousels have no specific starting point, resulting in random combinations of images and signs at an uneven rhythm. As it comes full circle, The Forms of Love disrupts the audience’s expectations of a clear resolution or ending.

His art and writing projects, spanning photography, video, performance and poetry, have been exhibited and performed at MoMA/PS1, Mt. Tremper Arts, Scaramouche, New York, and many more. Huffman is also the author of two books of poems, 19 Names For Our Band and James Brown is Dead, as well as a forthcoming book, Sleeper Hold. His work was recently included in the anthology The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing.

The artist currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2013The Four People You Meet at Every Drug DealSamuel Freeman, Los Angeles, CASolo
2013Lake Overturn, Pacific Standard Time Presents: The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. ArchitectureThe Santa Monica Screening Room, Santa Monica, CASolo
2013NiagaraUSC Roski Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2013A Novella and StoriesMachine Project, Los Angeles, CASolo
2013The Reanimation LibraryMonte Vista Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013The Stand InPublic Fiction, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Night Papers Launch: Robert Dewhurst, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Johnnie JunglegutsNight Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Diana Arterian, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, and Simone WhiteThe Poetic Research Bureau, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2012The Descent of Alette by Alice Notley: A ReadingNight Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012We Don’t Believe You, You Need More People (with Martine Syms)Public Fiction, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012Double Jointed: Jibade-Khalil Huffman & Cameron CrawfordScaramouche, NY, NYSolo
2012New Wight Biennial 2012UCLA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2012Act 2: The PropsPublic Fiction, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011Teen Wolf/Teen Wolf TooMount Tremper Arts, Phoenicia, NYSolo
2011NOWHERE (with Thomas Trudgeon)The Empty Globe at Pieter, Los Angeles, CA Solo
2011NOWHERE (with Eliza Newman-Saul)The Home Of, Brooklyn, NY Solo
2011Slow Reveal, or, Negro Twist Ending Where You Are Really A NegroThe Tank, New York, NYSolo
2011We Don't Believe You, You Need More PeopleSouthern Exposure, San Francisco, CASolo
2011Pixelating: Black in New DimensionsMuseum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2011Le Mots et Les Choses (Words and Things): An Evening With Future Plan and ProgramSouthern Exposure, San Francisco, CAGroup
2011So Much I Want to Say: Future Plan and ProgramHouston Museum of Africa-American Culture, Houston, TXGroup
2011The Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2Chelsea Art Museum, NY, NYGroup
2011Ess Ess Sunset Series with Jo Ann BeardCleopatra's, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2010Monster Island CzarMoMA - P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, NYSolo
2010I Forgot My MantraBrooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2010Manual TransmissionBush Gardens Rooftop, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2009Wrong: A Program of Text and ImageEighth Veil, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008Oscillations (For A Minute There I Lost Myself) (with Xaviera Simmons)Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NYSolo
2007Game Bird SamplerWhite Box Annex, New York, NYGroup
2003You Just Have To Go Down A Flight of StairsWoods Gallery, Bard College, Annandaleon-Hudson, NYSolo