First World Order

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and Triple Canopy
264 Canal Street #3W
New York, NY 10013
May 4th, 2022
6:30 pm ET

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and Triple Canopy are pleased to co-present First World Order, a screening of works by Ilana Harris-Babou and Ulysses Jenkins followed by a discussion between Harris-Babou and writer Yasmina Price. The event will be in-person at 264 Canal Street, as well as livestreamed online and viewable after the fact. It will be accompanied by an online program of works by Harris-Babou, Jenkins, Philip Mallory Jones (whose video First World Order inspired this project's title), and Anthony Ramos, available at EAI's website.

The herbalist Alfredo Bowman, popularly known as Dr. Sebi, often asked, “What were we eating before we were taken from Africa, before there was an invasion by the man from Europe?” Dr. Sebi’s answer came in the form of a diet that eschewed “Caucasian food” and emphasized fruits, vegetables, and pulses, which he promoted as complementing “the African gene structure.” Drawing on Black nationalist movements as well as Hippocrates and the Old Testament, the quietly charismatic (and unlicensed) practitioner traced all diseases afflicting Black people to their displacement from Africa through the transatlantic slave trade. Before dying in 2016, he had attracted a global following that included Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Michael Jackson, and Nipsey Hussle, as well as numerous charges of fraud for claiming that his treatments cured illnesses as various as herpes, HIV, and diabetes. In her video Leaf of Life (2022), the artist Ilana Harris-Babou considers Dr. Sebi’s amalgamation of tradition, myth, and persona—which enabled him to advance an identity rooted in the bodies of Black people around the world—and asks how distrust of American institutions contributes to the appeal of his message.

Harris-Babou's work will be presented alongside two selections from Ulysses Jenkins's The Video Griots Trilogy, a series of video meditations on history and culture. In Self-Divination, the artist speaks poetically about the origins and realities of the African diaspora, and Mutual Native Duplex is a video essay on the mutual alliances between Native and African Americans which celebrates the "neo-American model" of inter-cultural cooperation that grew out of these encounters.

Following the screening, Harris-Babou will be joined by Yasmina Price to discuss the political concerns and representational strategies expressed in the works. They’ll ask how, today, artists are envisioning forms of belonging that defy the logic of time and space, and that turn to tradition without succumbing to nostalgia—or eliding the particular conditions and historical experiences that define diasporic populations.

RSVP here to attend the event (or watch the livestream).

All attendees are required to present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and to wear masks unless otherwise indicated. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis (even for those who have RSVP’d). The doors will open thirty minutes prior to the event and attendance will be limited, given safety concerns and the capacity of our venue.

Triple Canopy’s venue is located at 264 Canal Street, 3W, near several Canal Street subway stations. Our floor is accessible by elevator (63" × 60" car, 31" door) and stairway. Due to the age and other characteristics of the building, our bathrooms are not ADA-accessible, though several such bathrooms are located nearby. If you have questions about access, please contact in advance of the event.