A new exhibition featuring the legendary musician, Grace Jones, will be showing at Nottingham Contemporary from September.

Curated by Cédric Fauq and Olivia Aherne, Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio is dubbed as an intersection “between fan-fiction, study and biography” of the iconic singer. 

Throughout her career, Grace Jones collaborated with artists, designers, photographers and musicians to reinvent herself in imaginative ways. The exhibition will explore this multifaceted identity, which blurred binary systems of gender, sexuality and race.

Beginning in 1977, Jones secured a record deal with the British-Jamaican label, Island Records, and became a star of New York City’s Studio-54 centred disco scene. In the early 80s, she shifted toward a new wave style, drawing from reggaefunk, post-punk and pop influences and frequently collaborating with her then-partner, graphic designer Jean-Paul Goude, and the musical duo Sly & Robbie. 

“Departing from the observation that Grace Jones is not one but multiple, the exhibition Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio unfurls a range of Grace Joneses: from disco queen to dub cyborg; Jamaican to French; runway model to nightclub performer; black to white; feminine to masculine.”

Offering both historical context and contemporary perspective, the exhibition “presents itself as an alternative way to write and tell art history”, delving beyond Jones’s image-making into stage design, music and fashion. Works from a variety of the period’s prominent names will be featured, from Jean-Michel Basquiat to Andy Warhol.

Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio is scheduled to run from 26 Sep 2020 – 3 Jan 2021. The website notes that the dates of this exhibition may be subject to change due to the COVID-19 crisis.

📷 Detroit Institute of Arts

Author Arielle Domb
4th July, 2020

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