Mojo Rising features Betye Saar’s ongoing mojo focus, and local artists who are inspired by these ideas to create cultural narratives and engaging objects that challenge normalizing tropes, and reveal practices influenced by Saar’s ceaseless commitment to making, sharing, teaching and encouraging artists in Los Angeles and beyond.
Nearly 50 years ago, Cal State LA exhibited Betye Saar’s first survey exhibition, Betye Saar: Selected Works 1964-1973, which included Mojo Handbag (1970), Nine Mojo Secrets (1971) and Rainbow Mojo (1972), and other objects that showcased her attention on mysticism.
Betye Saar is still a conjurer who uses diverse cultural iconography to ritualize recycling, investigate identity and contest how and where we find beauty. Today, with this new exhibition, moniz reflects on Saar’s ongoing legacy, specifically how her transformative visual language has made space for artists to reimagine materials in new contexts and create work centered on the poetics of time, race and gender.
Mojo Rising is curated by jill moniz, PhD.