Every day, we hear countless noises that we tune out, only hearing what we choose to focus on. It’s this natural function of selective hearing that keeps us from absorbing everything and losing our minds. And even if you are focused on one person’s speech, you’ll likely miss all the little sounds and inflections they involuntarily insert in between their words, the little “Mmms” and “Hmms” that don’t quite mean anything but are still part of speech. Multi-media artist and Creator Rashaad Newsome collects these sounds and composes them into a kind of hymn in his Shade Compositions performance series.
Performed at the SFMOMA in early October, this piece is the latest in a series made up of local performers, drag stars, and a few of Newsome’s favorites from New York City. It is also the last time a performance will happen in the museum in its current form as they will be soon be closing for two years for renovations.
Newsome collaborated with Alexander Wang on the wardrobe, Android Homme<.a> on shoes and Jewrel Gainey on makeup. The video of the performance will be shown as part of Art Basel Miami Art Projects Video series at the New World Center December 6-9.
Learn more about Newsome’s work in the video below.