IMO NSE IMEH: The Hope of Radiance – Opening Reception
The Hope of Radiance brings together art works and texts created between 2020 – 2022 that are part of Dr. Imo Nse Imeh’s developing project titled Benediction. The exhibition addresses Imeh’s emotional and spiritual tumult during the pandemic period, when the world went silent under lockdown and became an unwitting witness to the horrors of Black life.
With the Benediction series, Imeh tells the story of a group of angels that have been cast down to earth and bound to the skins of Black boys and men. The angels’ task is to serve as witnesses to the traumas and triumphs that they experience through their “hosts.” A “benediction” is a short invocation, a prayer for help or guidance, usually given at the end of a service of worship. But a benediction is also often a declaration that comes at the commencement of something wonderful. In Imeh’s work, “benediction” speaks to both the death and resurrection of Black men.
The Hope of Radiance guides us down a road of reflection about Black boys and men, faith and despair, solitude, loss, and the realities of the human condition. The question at the center of this project considers the cyclicality of Black trauma and triumph, and the hope for acknowledgement, beauty, resplendence, and so much more.