AFRO (is just a hair style) : Notes on a Journey Through the African Diaspora


March 26, 1999

Contact Jeri Vaughn (562) 439-2119, ext. 40

Release Date: For Immediate Release


New Visions: Video 1999
April 9 through June 20, 1999
Free Opening Reception April 9 from 7 to 10pm
Long Beach, CA. New Visions: Video 1999, the Long Beach Museum of Art's popular annual exhibition of new video works opens April 9 with featured artist Thomas Allen Harris.

Now in its fourth year, the New Visions program selects three artists and commissions each of them to create a new video work. Each artist receives a cash stipend and valuable production and post-production support at the Museum's Video Annex. The new works are exhibited at the Museum and then added to the Museum's permanent collection of over 3,500 video tapes and installation

AFRO (is just a hair style): Notes on a Journey Through the African Diaspora, a three-projector installation by Thomas Allen Harris, creates a poetic exploration of people scattered around the world who are of African origin. Using material from the artist's three-month journey from Los Angeles to Salvador Da Bahia, Brazil to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa, AFRO explores a circulating world of attraction -- a world in which one looks for affinity within a real or imagined African community.

Each of the three projections is a "window" through which the viewer can see distinct scenes of African-influenced festivals taking place on three different continents: FESPACO a film festival, Festival of Iemanja a religious festival and At The Beach a queer festival. AFRO (is just a hair style): Notes on a Journey Through the African Diaspora, places viewers in the position of "the traveler," leading them on the epic journey of the artist's self-discovery and perhaps their own.

Thomas Allen Harris is assistant professor of media arts at the University of California, San Diego. His work has been exhibited in Italy, Venezuela, the Netherlands, Ireland, Great Britain, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Burkina Faso, Canada, and throughout the United States.

Thomas Allen Harris
Professor, Media Arts
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, #0327
La Jolla, CA 92093
tel. 619/534-1307
fax 619/534-8651

Thomas Allen Harris