A.J. McCLENON | LEAD ZEPPELIN CAN’T STEAL MY DADDY”S BLACK
In progress work by A.J. McClenon
Featuring Jamillah Hinson & Simone Simone
In honor of my father’s passing and to my grandfather and Bill, I’d like to dedicate space for an in-progress work that explores an existence with inherent consequences on family, fatherhood and the power of unconditional love. From the perspective of a daughter, an inner-child and a living BLACK body, I invite you all to witness memory as history and fragile gifts through sound, movement and robust articulations.
AJ was born and raised in “D.C. proper,” where they learned to fish and wander. Raised by southern grandparents, Nelba & Ernest and a D.C. native mom named Patricia Ann, aunts Cassie & Lalu and mom’s boyfriend Bill. Humid summers spent between D.C., Baltimore and New York. A.J’s work sets personal narratives alongside empirical data, leveling the hierarchies of truth. AJ holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in creative writing from the University of Maryland College Park. AJ has also studied at Eugene Lang College. AJ has performed and shown work throughout the US, at locations like Steppenwolf, The Promontory, Woman Made Gallery, Echo Park Film Center, Chicago Filmmakers, Terrain Exhibitions, Gallery 400, Compliance Divisions, Fine Art Complex 1101 and Longwood Arts Center. AJ is currently the co-director of Beauty Breaks, an intergenerational beauty and wellness workshop series for black people along the spectrum of femininity. AJ is also a co-founder of F4F, a domestic venue that cultivates a femme community, centers blackness, and expands upon understandings of what domestic space can be.