san-francisco

Lyle Ashton Harris/Thomas Allen Harris

New Langton Arts

ALCHEMY is the first major collaboration of the artists Lyle Ashton Harris, who works in photography and installation, and Thomas Allen Harris, who works in film and video. The brothers subdivided the gallery into a series of intimate, flowing spaces to house nine Cibachrome photographs and three film-to-digital-videodisc projections that bring African themes into an installation-art context. Entering the gallery, we come face-to-face with Untitled (Mother), 1998, a striking figure in profile whose gaze guides us toward another photograph on a far wall, Untitled (Orisha Study), 1994–98. The latter, which depicts two figures whose bodies are painted gold and a third, black-clad figure with face paint, serves to encapsulate the core references of the installation. The pair invokes the Marasa, or sacred twins, of Yoruba cosmology (who are prominent as well in related belief systems of the

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