Newsome will work in Detroit over the summer engaging local communities and preparing for a parade, a video installation at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and a performance at the Detroit Film Theater.
Connecting diverse local communities, King of Arms will enliven the streets of Midtown in the tradition of a second line brass band. Acknowledging Detroit’s integral connection to music, the parade will be led by the storied Cass Technical High School Marching Band and the Gabriel Brass Band. The procession will feature the Miami Bike Life motorcycle crew; members of the Detroit Vogue scene; Newsome’s NYC troop the Vogue Knights; Philadelphia LGBTQ rapper Kevin JZ Prodigy; and a King of Arms float, a customized Ford F150 truck wrapped in the artist’s imagery. Drawn to the city’s history and exciting future the artist remarked, “Detroit is a place that I find incredibly inspiring, it is a privilege to be invited to work in the city and partner with its community. Over time, the city has both prospered and suffered making it a poignant and challenging place to conduct the King of Arms mass processional performance and Shade Composition. At the core of these projects is my interest in highlighting performance practices and communities that I feel connected to personally while giving those who often feel silenced, a voice.”
Throughout the summer Newsome will be working in Detroit casting local performers and staging rehearsals for Shade Composition, the artist’s critically acclaimed performance artwork which concludes the DLECTRICITY festival at 8 p.m. on September 23rd at the Detroit Film Theater located within the Detroit Institute of Arts. In this signature performance, the artist is both conductor and vocal choreographer leading an ensemble of locally cast self-identifying Black female performers whose individual voices and gestures are synthesized to form improvisatory orchestral music collaged with live video and audio mixed using hacked video game controllers. Costumes for the performers will be designed by Rick Owens.