Surrealism and Us: A Symposium

Hector Hyppolite, Macanda, c. 1947

Hector Hyppolite
Macanda, c. 1947 (detail)
Oil on board 
18 1/2 x 20 7/8 inches
Josh Feldstein
Photograph by Matthew Sherman

  • May 18, 2024 10:00 AM

Exhibition Symposium
May 18, 10 am-5 pm
Events will take place throughout the day at the Museum
Admission to Symposium events and the exhibition galleries is free

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents Surrealism and Us: A Symposium, organized by curator María Elena Ortiz and independent scholar Negarra A. Kudumu, with the support of Maria Barrientos, education administrator at the Modern. Featuring artist's conversations and performances, this symposium is inspired by the themes of the special exhibition, including Suzanne Césaire’s reflections on the utility of Surrealism as a tool for liberation in Martinique and the broader Caribbean. The Symposium explores artistic production with participating artists and writers, focusing on contemporary Caribbean art along with notions of Surrealism, Afrosurrealism, and Afrofuturism through a series of discussions, a keynote address, and performance. 


Artists in Conversation
Museum Auditorium

With Dr. Tiffany Barber, April Bey, Kim Dacres, Dalton Gata, Negarra A. Kudumu, María Elena Ortiz, Kenny Rivero, Ashley Stull Meyers, and Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, Surrealism and Us: A Symposium generates a space for conversation and discussion about certain themes presented in the exhibition and its accompanying publication. Artists, writers, and curators consider themes of Afrodiasporic spiritualities, resistance, and dreams, among other creative strategies. 


Keynote Address 
Museum Auditorium

Cole Arthur Riley, creator and writer of Black Liturgies (Convergent Books, 2024), shares their project centered on providing a space for spiritual practice, safety, and community. With prayers, poems, and meditation, Black Liturgies offers storytelling and myths highlighting the role of spirituality in contemporary culture. 


Sculpture Terrace/Exhibition Galleries

Rashida Bumbray presents Run Mary Run (and Us), an intimate site-specific performance of the ring shout—accessed through the architectures of improvisation, surrender, and possession—in pursuit of functional responses to displacement, erasure, and social forgetting. This spiritual dance work considers the harmonic ideas and tonal vocabulary of master ring shouters the McIntosh County Shouters as a point of departure. Featuring Rashida Bumbray, Cecily Bumbray, Malik Bellamy, Ayanna Lee Blue, Lisa E. Harris, Carl Hewitt, and Rachel Schaffran with Jabari Exum (percussion) and Colin Chambers (keys). 



10 am
Introduction by Curator María Elena Ortiz


10:15 am
Curator María Elena Ortiz, in conversation with artists Dalton Gata and Kim Dacres

11:15 am

Ashley Stull Meyers, Mary Jones and Thomas Hart Horning Chief Curator of Art, Science and Technology at PRAx, Oregon State University, in conversation with artist Kenny Rivero


12:15 pm
Independent scholar Negarra A. Kudumu, in conversation with artist Jasmine Thomas-Girvan

1:15 pm
Lunch break


2:45 pm

Dr. Tiffany Barber, independent curator, scholar, and Assistant Professor of African American Art at the University of California, Los Angeles, in conversation with artist April Bey


3:45 pm
Keynote address by Cole Arthur Riley, creator and writer of Black Liturgies

4:15 pm
Performance by artist and curator Rashida Bumbray with Cecily Bumbray, Malik Bellamy, Ayanna Lee Blue, Lisa E. Harris, Carl Hewitt, and Rachel Schaffran, with Jabari Exum (percussion) and Colin Chambers (keys) 


Surrealism and Us: A Symposium is supported in part by the Kent Family Fund and Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, along with promotional support provided by Glasstire.

Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation