Betti Ono welcomes acclaimed international artist, Damon Davis, as first-ever virtual artist in residence. New Public Mural & Augmented Reality Experience Unveiled Oct 2, 2020

Betti Ono is proud to welcome St. Louis based artist, Damon Davis, as our first-ever virtual artist-in-residence.

TED Fellow. TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

Davis’ mural, Libation, installed on the facade of Betti Ono, is paired with an augmented reality experience, The Libation Tapestry, both will be unveiled TONIGHT Fri, Oct 2, from 4-7 pm PST at the opening ceremony for The Spaces We’re In.

About Libation – Damon Davis’ New Public Mural

Created in 2018 during his time at the Indelibl Art Residency in Ghana, Davis’ Libation alludes to libations poured to honor Black Africans who have suffered as a result of the slave trade, both those whose families were sold off of the continent, as well as those Africans who participated in and upheld the horrific industry. This gesture can also be read as an attempt of making amends between these two groups and their current descendants across the diaspora. In yet another reading, the pouring of libations represents growth and nurturance for people and conditions that have been deemed unfavorable. In particular, an act meant to symbolize protection and support for Black girls–such as the one illustrated in the mural–and women, in an effort of making amends for a legacy of patriarchal violence. 

About The Libation Tapestry – Damon Davis’ New Augmented Reality Experience

Davis’ first-ever augmented reality experience, The Libation Tapestry, was designed in collaboration with Betti Ono impact producer and creative director Calvin Williams. In the experience, priests–clothed in deep blue and orange patterned Ankara fabric–pour libation upon the soil, seeds, and stone in the center of a memorial floral garden. Like a rose from concrete, a young girl stands stoically facing us, flanked by two of her sister-friends at each side granting her protection. As the libation is poured, portals for the past, present, and future rush open in the backdrop of the floral gardens. The libation gives life and joy to the young girl as she looks about, smiling as her dress illuminates with the same patterned hues of the priest’s ankara.

Betti Ono x Damon Davis

Throughout his residency at Betti Ono, Davis will create new work for his Darker Gods series, focusing on the second chapter in three-part trilogy, The Lake of Dreams, which follows John Icarus, a human who finds himself in the realm of these deities. The residency will culminate in an exhibition and premiere of Darker Gods: The Lake of Dreams, featuring new work Davis creates during his stay.  Davis is the fourth artist-in-residence featured in our multi-year,  Oakland led international arts and culture initiative, The Fire Next Time: A Call & Response.

About Damon Davis

Damon Davis is an award-winning, post-disciplinary artist who works and resides in St. Louis, Missouri. His work spans across a spectrum of creative mediums to tell stories exploring how identity is informed by power and mythology. Davis is a 2015 Firelight Media Fellow, 2016 Sundance Music and Sound Design Lab Fellow, 2017 TED Fellow, 2020 Monument Lab Transnational Fellow, and 2020 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. He is founder and creative director of St. Louis-based music label/ artist collective FarFetched and his work is featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Hear more from Damon here: