Tylonn Sawyer at N’Namdi @ Hyperallergic
DETROIT — In a room with diffuse lighting, the “black box” gallery of the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, a dark pantheon has been assembled. Tylonn Sawyer’s American Gods deftly splits the difference between a wide range of references, most prominently the orisha-based faith of Ifá and Yoruba religions, the codified behaviors of secret societies, and the Neil Gaiman novel with which the exhibition shares a title.
“Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite writers,” said Sawyer, in an interview with Hyperallergic. “So in the book, where gods end up in America, because immigrants throughout history have brought their gods here, and then the gods stay here, in a way — I was thinking about Blacks being brought here involuntarily, in a very similar way.”
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Creating a Pantheon of Black American Gods, from James Baldwin to Nina Simone