MINNEAPOLIS—July 18, 2019— The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) will present “VESSEL,” an experimental film by Joe Horton, on September 12-22, 2019. Horton, the museum’s current artist in residence, is a Minneapolis-based vocalist and artist whose work has been recognized by the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Jerome Foundation.
“VESSEL,” a single-channel film installation that runs approximately 30 minutes, resides at the intersection of stop motion animation, ambient sound, and poetic plot. The film follows a hero as he embarks on a spiritual journey through death, decay, and transcendence. The film’s title references alchemy, which Horton views as the last gasp of Western mysticism. Recalling classic storytelling, “VESSEL” is infused with Afrofuturism and surrealism, creating digital mysticism for the information age. The film will be accompanied by an ambient soundtrack and giclee prints created by Horton and Kai Benson, art director for “VESSEL.”
“This was an amazing opportunity to work with an artist right on our doorstep, and working with Joe has been a natural fit,” said Keisha Williams, curator of “VESSEL” and Curatorial Department Assistant and Artist Liaison in Contemporary Art. “There is still so much unknown about our own bodies and souls. ‘VESSEL’ highlights the mystery, beauty and darkness that potentially lies before us. This film is meant to connect us to our more elemental self on a pathway to transcendence. Combining classic storytelling with a contemporary aesthetic, this film is meant to be experienced as much as seen.”
Accompanying programming for this exhibition includes an opening event with the artist on Friday, September 13.
Joe Horton is a vocalist, media artist, and co-founder of FIX music and arts collective. He is a 2019 Jerome Hill artist fellow and the current artist in residence at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. As an emcee, Horton is best known for his work with experimental rap groups No Bird Sing and Mixed Blood Majority. Horton’s directorial catalogue includes video, theater, concerts, and art installation, employing a signature style that marries ancient thought with a vision of the future. Horton has been awarded for both his music and visual work by the Minnesota State Arts Board. He is currently working on a new album produced by Anatomy of Kill the Vultures.