— Manifest Destiny

Press Release

  — Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny, curated by Ingrid LaFleur, examines the practical implementation of the cultural movement Afrofuturism to alter destinies within Detroit and beyond. Inspired by the 400-year anniversary of West African captives brought to the Jamestowne settlement in Virginia, Manifest Destiny honors the legacy of Black-bodied people to forge their own destiny regardless of circumstance.

Manifest Destiny brings together 12 artists that explore new modes of thinking, planning, and building for the Afrofuture. The exhibit includes film and sculpture by Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, painting by Satch Hoyt, collage by Manzel Bowman, sculpture by Detroit native Jasmine Murrell, public art by Alisha B. Wormsley, and the virtual reality project NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism by Hyphen Labs. In addition to the exhibition, the programming includes a workshop series that excavates invisible histories of Black bodied self-determination. The infamous billboard There Are Black People in the Future by Alisha B. Wormsley will be on display above Queens Bar in Downtown Detroit.

Manifest Destiny features the boutique DINKINESH created by Ingrid LaFleur and designed by artist Utē Petit. DINKINESH sells Afrofuturist paraphernalia with the goal to support organizations that invest in the future of youth. The first organization to receive this support is the Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy and their program to send youth to Ghana. DINKINESH is the name given to the oldest human remains found thus far, otherwise known as Lucy in the west. Excavated in the Ethiopian region, DINKINESH in Amheric means, “You are marvelous,” the mantra for the boutique. By resurrecting this ancient history, DINKINESH creates an origin point that is resource rich and abundant and serves as the entrance to Manifest Destiny, a warm welcome into the Afrofuture where visitors are reminded simultaneously of their individual beauty and the origin of all humanity.

To ensure Detroiters have access to participatory Afrofuture experiences, LaFleur enlisted Lady PheOnix of YES UNIVERSE to bring the traveling exhibition Digitalia to the Belt in downtown Detroit. This will be the first stop on the exhibition tour. Digitalia presents augmented reality artwork by Francois Beaurain, Manzel Bowman, KESH, Trevor Stuurman, and Kyle Yearwood.

Manifest Destiny is organized by Library Street Collective and curated by Ingrid LaFleur. The project is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Manifest Destiny, on display from July 20 to October 5, 2019.

Install Images

Artwork Images

Manzel Bowman  — Manifest Destiny

Manzel Bowman

Turbine, 2018
Digital Collage on Aluminum
22h x 22w inches

Satch Hoyt — Manifest Destiny

Satch Hoyt

Afro-Sonic Map (Black Mapping), 2016
Acrylic on Linen
76.50h x 29.50w inches

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes — Manifest Destiny

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes

Ovus, 2019
Freestanding Sculpture