Rising by Dr. Fahamu Pecou

Fahamu Pecou. rising, 2016. Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas. Private collection.

DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance by Dr. Fahamu Pecou explores the intersections between African-based spiritual traditions and the political and societal violence against Black male bodies in the US. Pecou positions these bodies within Ifá, a diasporic religion of the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria; here, where spirits are infinite, a healing alternative exists for slain Black men—Martin, Medgar, Emmitt, Trayvon, and Michael among them—and their communities. Centered around his Egungun mask, Pecou uses paintings, drawing, photography, and video to depict the spirit’s journey, including its encounters with divinity and its invocation through the ceremonial Egungun dance. 

The accompanying publication, Visible Man, explores these themes and their context within Pecou’s oeuvre, and is currently available at the museum bookshop. This exhibition will be on view from January 19 through April 28, 2019.

Pecou is an Atlanta-based interdisciplinary artist and scholar, who received his PhD from Emory University in 2018.




This exhibition has been organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, in collaboration with the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University.