Total Running Time
“Total Running Time” marks Detroit-born, New York-based poet and artist Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s debut solo show with Magenta Plains. A site-specific work, “Total Running Time” is an amalgam of video projections, lightboxes, and photo collage on layers of transparency on paper. A term commonly applied to audiovisual content, such as film, Huffman uses the phrase to consider the idea of duration and of pushing performance to and even past its limit.
Animated by a self-described “obsessive collecting impulse,” Huffman collages found and archival material and ephemera, particularly those related to notions of race and visibility, combining media (cartoons, TV Guides, advertisements) with symbols (arrows, annotations, diagrams, charts) to foreground the tenuousness of digital media, its inevitable degradation and loss of meaning. Venus and Serena Williams embrace in TRT (2020) [pictured], their joy prismatic, incandescent, alight in warm sun-shades of orange, yellow, and purple. The video on inkjet-on-transparency work Untitled (Explosion) (2020) glows like a kaleidoscope, light dancing on the gallery walls; fluorescent fixtures jut out of a canvas in Untitled (Proof) (2020). But all’s not only brightness and rainbows: an edge of fatigue, scrutiny, and critique runs also through this body of work. An ominous hand looms over the embracing sisters, casting a metaphoric shadow; overlapping circles not only dissect the image, but obscure it as well. Athleticism, Huffman suggests, is not the only performance required of a Black athlete. Nor might the final work itself signal the end of the artist’s performance.
Jibade-Khalil Huffman, TRT, 2020. Archival inkjet print, 36.70 x 38.60 inches.