Press Release

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 11:02am
Oakland Museum of California Announces Major Spring 2018 Exhibition Featuring the Evolution of Hip-Hop
RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom Explores Hip-Hop’s Wide-Reaching Influences on Cultural and Social Movements, Including the West Coast’s and San Francisco Bay Area’s Impacts on this Global Phenomenon, Exhibition to run March 24–August 12, 2018 in OMCA’s Great Hall

(OAKLAND, CA) November 8, 2017— Starting from its roots on the streets, before rap, DJing, graffiti, breakdancing, and street fashion launched into mainstream culture, RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom, the Oakland Museum of California’s major Spring 2018 exhibition, explores one of the most influential cultural and social movements of the last 50 years.

Opening in OMCA’s Great Hall on March 24, 2018, RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom uncovers the under-recognized story of how hip-hop changed the world. Delving into the West Coast’s and San Francisco Bay Area’s influences, the exhibition features insights from artists and hip-hop luminaries about how hip-hop continues to provide a platform for creative self-expression, activism, youth development, and education.

Visitors will discover the beginnings of hip-hop and learn about the significant roles that California, and Oakland, have played and continue to play in hip-hop’s evolution, including its positive influences in youth development and education. Rooted in African American culture, the essence of hip-hop is self-expression and creativity. The exhibition highlights hip-hop’s innovative nature and reveals how the art form continues to be vital today.

Hip-hop’s many aspects—including DJing, MCing, dance, graffiti, fashion and style, knowledge and wisdom, and entrepreneurialism—will all be explored. Details of hip-hop’s origins and its influence on street art and fashion will be showcased in photographs by Martha Cooper, a photojournalist and former New York Post photographer best known for her documentation of New York City’s graffiti scene of the 1970s and 1980s, and Jamel Shabazz, who is internationally recognized for his images of New York City youth culture in the 1980s. Shabazz’s images have been featured across the world at Art Basel in Miami, the Brooklyn Museum, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Significant artifacts and objects will be displayed, including original party flyers, rare photographs, and contemporary artworks, including a tapestry by renowned New York-based portraitist Kehinde Wiley, who has recently had a nationally touring museum solo exhibition as well as having recently been commissioned to paint Barack Obama’s official presidential portrait. The exhibition will also feature a dedicated space for reflection and meaning-making, which includes a central reading room, offering select reading material and artifacts that connect hip-hop with its deeper cultural principles.

RESPECT recognizes the sensational essence of a movement that has become a unifying culture throughout the world,” said René de Guzman, director of exhibition strategy and senior curator of art at the Oakland Museum of California. “With this exhibition, OMCA sets the stage for a deeper exploration of hip-hop: the wisdom and style it has brought to many aspects of all our lives, from the language that we use to the clothes that we wear.”

A major part of the exhibition is the Hip-Hop Dojo: a practice, performance, and event space that will come alive with movement and sound. In the space, Museum visitors will be able to explore, learn, and practice hip-hop skills. The gallery features an immersive, multi-projector media environment featuring looping video footage of hip-hop performers and martial artists getting into the flow by Los Angeles-based DJ Mike Relm. Visitors are invited to experiment with the basics of scratching on real beat-making equipment, sit among the bleachers to socialize and play chess, or watch other museum goers perform in this energetic, dynamic space. Visitors can also participate in graffiti-making, and learn breakdance basics by dancing along with expert teachers projected in a shadow dance environment. Talent shows, demonstrations, workshops, and cyphers will be activated within the Dojo throughout the run of the exhibition.


"OMCA is committed to presenting programming that addresses topics of real relevance to our community and that link historic trends to compelling and urgent themes today. In just the past couple of years alone, we've presented Altered State: Marijuana in CaliforniaAll Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50; and Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing, all of which attracted record attendance and captured the attention of both local communities and the national museum field," said Director and CEO Lori Fogarty. “RESPECT will continue this vision for the Museum and for our audiences, in this case with a particular exploration of the influence of Oakland and California on this important form of self-expression and creativity.”

RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom will be on view in OMCA’s Great Hall March 24 through August 12, 2018. There is a $4 charge for this special exhibition is addition to regular Museum admission.

ABOUT THE OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) brings together collections of art, history, and natural science under one roof to tell the extraordinary stories of California and its people. OMCA's groundbreaking exhibits tell the many stories that comprise California with many voices, often drawing on first-person accounts by people who have shaped California's cultural heritage. Visitors are invited to actively participate in the Museum as they learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state and investigate their own role in both its history and its future. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA is a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California's dynamic cultural and environmental heritage.

VISITOR INFORMATION

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $15.95 general; $10.95 seniors and students with valid ID, $6.95 youth ages 9 to 17, and free for Members and children 8 and under. There is a $4 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitionsOMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. The accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum. museumca.org


UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS & PROJECTS

Take Root: Oakland Grows Food
December 16, 2017–January 13, 2019
Unearth Oaklands multi-layered world of food in Take Root: Oakland Grows Food, an exhibition exploring the ecological and cultural factors of how and why food is grown in Oakland. Enjoy this hands-on exhibition with the entire family to understand what factors determine where, how, why, and what is grown throughout the city. Hear personal stories from farmers and growers within the community, see compelling illustrations and maps, and meet the diverse flavors of Oakland. Learn what motivations Oaklanders have for growing foodincluding access to healthy and delicious ingredients, environmental and social justice values, or simply the joy of tending a garden. Visitors will be invited to share personal stories, explore interactive activities, and gain a deeper understanding of Oaklands agriculture.

J.B. Blunk: Nature, Art & Everyday Life

April 21–September 9, 2018
Discover northern California’s best kept secret in design and craft: J.B. Blunk (1926–2002), a mid-century artist whose connection to nature governed his daily life. Inspired by Japanese philosophies of nature and art’s inseparability, and influenced by rural utopian communities, Blunk’s muse and often his source of materials was the beautiful natural environment of Inverness, California. Blunk’s home property was his ultimate work of art, filled with his handcrafted furniture, ceramics, sculptures, and other functional objects used by his family. His remarkable craftsmanship also took the form of large-scale public works of art, including The Planet, a redwood sculpture commissioned by the Oakland Museum of California in 1969. J.B. Blunk: Nature, Art, & Everyday Life brings together a comprehensive survey of the artist’s works. See northern California’s landscape anew through Blunk’s eyes, and get inspired to find the beauty of nature and art in your own daily life.

ON VIEW

Metamorphosis & Migration: Days of the Dead

Through January 14, 2018
This year, OMCA’s biennial Days of the Dead exhibition is inspired by the lifecycle of the Monarch Butterfly. Known for its mass migration each winter, this butterfly’s journey spans several generations, all of whom follow the same routes their ancestors took. In Mexico, the returning Monarchs also symbolize the returning souls of loved ones who have passed away.

In Metamorphosis & Migration: Days of the Dead, explore ofrendas and artworks inspired by the Monarch’s migration and themes of tradition and transformation. View rarely-seen butterfly specimens from OMCA’s collection alongside newly commissioned artworks. Artist Hung Liu honors her mother’s passing through a series of heartfelt paintings. Favianna Rodriguez ponders migration and immigration in a new way using her “Migration is Beautiful” butterfly imagery. Chris Treggiari and Peter Foucault honor colleague Alex Ghassan, who lost his life in the tragic Ghost Ship fire. And, traditional Days of the Dead altars by Bea Carrillo Hocker and Rafael Jesús González, as well as installations by Oakland International High School and Thornhill Elementary School, energize this communal space for reflection and empowerment in these turbulent times.

Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown
Through January 21, 2018
This fall, experience the world premiere of Nature's Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown, a dazzling immersive experience that takes you through the rainbow into another world. A one-of-a-kind and interactive environment by FriendsWithYou—the artist collective including Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III—the large-scale, light-filled installation sparks joy and positivity, and sets the stage for friendship, magic, and social connection. A soothing, multi-sensory experience for all ages, we invite you to allow your senses to get lost in this imaginative and otherworldly place. 
There is a $4 charge for this special exhibition is addition to regular Museum admission.

Question Bridge: Black Males

Through February 25, 2018
Hailed as one of the Bay Areas Top Exhibitions in 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, Question Bridge: Black Males returns to the Oakland Museum of California this fall. Immerse yourself in intimate videoswoven together and arranged to simulate face-to-face conversations between participantsamong a diverse group of 150 Black men across the United States. Hear these men answer each others questions with exceptional honesty and vulnerability, and share stories, beliefs, and values in a personal portrayal of their lives. Encompassing themes of family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, and wisdom, Question Bridge: Black Males presents nuanced portraits of past, present, and future of Black men in American society. Listen, watch, learn, and start your own conversations with this profoundly moving installation.

In
2012, the Oakland Museum of California presented Question Bridge: Black Males, an innovative and widely exhibited video installation from artists Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. Joining the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Brooklyn Museum, OMCA is proud to acquire this groundbreaking and poignant work for its collection.

* * *