The 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship Award Winner in Choreography, Shamel Pitts unveiled his new short film, Lake of Red. This is the first visual art piece from his new Tribe arts collective.
There’s a new Brooklyn-based artist collective that’s bridging the spirit of James Baldwin with the aesthetic of afrofuturism together in one artistic expression called Tribe. Created by Shamel Pitts who won the latest Guggenheim Fellowship Award, has released his film which is combines visual and emotional expression through dance.
“As an African American artist, I feel compelled to share the power of art and dance as a leading example to humanity. I am constantly engaged with James Baldwin’s offering: “Art has to be some kind of confession…if you can face and examine your life, you can discover the terms in which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover them, too,” says Pitts. “This moment has shifted me inside out and then has flipped me upside down. I started off in quarantine, with the urgency of caution towards the danger of being outside, which drew me deeper inside of my “self,” focusing on solitude and the bridge between solitude, creativity, and solidarity,” Piits said in a release statement.
According to the official press release, the short film is described as the following: Lake Of RED takes place inside in a fragmented, boxed space, and is a poetic performance lens for projection, reflection and resonance of the artist with the viewer and with himself. Within the short film, Pitts deploys his unique style of choreography, inspired by GaGa and nightlife, whilst exploring a close dialogue with the lights that occupy (and transform) the space. Pitts orates with lyrical poetry as overcurrents dressing this audio-visual work. Lake of RED and its attributes simulate the fluidity of waves and the inability to connect with clear form in a multidimensional flow of eccentricity, passion and vigor. Through fragmentation and replication of the body, the frame, and the environment, Lake Of REDexamines Pitts’ sense of disturbed solitude & isolation, mixed with the internal monologue of mania through an emergence of movement.
Tribe is seeking to create a number of artistic projects that represents stories and the lives of artists who are of the African diaspora.
“With TRIBE, I continue my proposition to share the colorfulness within blackness through our art and platform,” says Pitts. “Being black is larger than the false nature of threats and violence and death inflicted upon us, due to the weaponization of our black bodies. And being black is bigger than hip hop. Each of us carries a multiplicity of self; of being.” The more we can allow ourselves to really self reflect and to practice self-love, the more we can see ourselves in each other. And we might discover the meeting of differences with compassion and camaraderie. Eventually.”