Oklahoma Contemporary

Asanti Chaplin, Dust to Dirge: An Earth Elegy

A Black person in a black dress holds brown velvet fabric wrapped around a tall obelisk

Dust to Dirge: An Earth Elegy

Dust to Dirge: An Earth Elegy

June 22 | 7 p.m.
Nov. 10 | 6:30 p.m.
Performance by Ashanti Chaplin and Gabriel Royal
Eleanor Kirkpatrick Main Gallery

A Black person sings passionately into a microphone

In this meditative piece, Ashanti Chaplin unwrapped her ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer work Earth Elegy, accompanied by an original score co-composed and performed with Gabriel Royal. Earth Elegy is an installation comprised of video, aural, sculptural and material impressions of the thirteen Historic Black Towns in Oklahoma: Boley, Brooksville, Clearview, Grayson, Langston, Lima, Red Bird, Rentiesville, Summit, Taft, Tatums, Tullahassee and Vernon. Collaborating with community members and civic leader, Chaplin collected clay, soil, sound and video documentation from each town. The obelisk an earthen element that references its ancient purpose of recording the history of a place is made with clay collected from the thirteen towns.

Dust to Dirge: An Earth Elegy was presented in connection with ArtNow: The Soul Is a Wanderer, on view in the Eleanor Kirkpatrick Main Gallery.

Watch an interview with Ashanti Chaplin and Gabriel Royal, including clips of the performance, below.


Ashanti Chaplin performs Dust to Dirge: An Earth Elegy. Photo: AJ Stegall.

Gabriel Royal performs the score for Dust to Dirge: An Earth Elegy. Photo: AJ Stegall.


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