Jibade-Khalil Huffman

Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Angeles

Mayday, 2018

Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Grace Jones Billboard, 2018, Transparency on plexi with wood frame support72 x 114 x 48 in (182.9 x 289.6 x 121.9 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles

Jibade-Khalil Huffman (b. 1981, Detroi; lives in Philadelphia) makes installations, single-channel videos, and photo works that use image and text to challenge our understanding of narrative form. Huffman often returns to the site of remembered films or television shows to insert and layer new registers of meaning. 

Huffman’s use of scrolling or inserted text over original or appropriated imagery, evokes presentational modes as divergent as karaoke and the cinematic essay, emblematic of his interest in breaking down cultural hierarchies. He has also done projects which foreground film production techniques, such as foley, special effects, and cinematography. Originally shown at Ballroom Marfa, Mayday is Huffman’s first outdoor sculpture.

The piece pays homage to Grace Jones’ character May Day, one of James Bond’s nemeses in A View to a Kill (1985), and employs the cinematic marketing device of the billboard. Rather than highlighting a moment of Bond’s centrality and prowess, Mayday purposefully foregrounds Black female power.