REMA HORT MANN FOUNDATION

Yusuf Amir Hassan

My practice grew out of research; an honest exploration into my own culture. The work begins and ends with research, in order to dig deep into Black culture. In no way am I attempting to say “this is Black culture” but by looking and diving deeper into various elements which make u Black daily life, on a socio-cultural and political level; such as music/sound, architecture, fine art and sculpture, I am looking to foster a conversation around my experiences and interests. All with the intention of sharing my research in the form of printed matter. This is where BlackMass Publishing was born from; the mass is made up of all of these moving parts and by dispersing the material globally, this opens the work to be digested and processed with the community that has been built around the practice. For me, the history of print in relation to revolutionary or non-revolutionary movements are a major inspiration. By working in the medium, it allows me to investigate my relationship to the art of publishing within a contemporary context . But to say that the work is meant to stay in the form of printed matter would not be true. Installation also plays a major role in contextualizing the content that I am often returning to. Being able to activate the moving parts is another way for the work to speak to and with my intended audience whoever they may be. The archive as a resource also plays a major role in my practice. I am focused on developing and nurturing this growing conversation between myself and the archive. The archive as a medium, allows me to constantly engage with different forms of expression in an attempt to expand the conversation both in range and scope. The goal is to access the archive and frame an alternative narrative around the materials, in allowing them to occupy the same space in my work. But, what’s most important is the fact that this conversation is the crux of what is meant to be an ongoing project, which will continue through different phases while coming back to the work with the purpose of thinking of possibilities for the work to grow as a practice. And in this, these possibilities become available to continue building upon a foundation that has already been established, whether it be in the archive or in Black daily life itself. Ultimately I’m really interested in unshaping form and exhausting the potential of a medium, in order to discover, explore and facilitate discourse between myself and the Mass.