Interview with Atlanta BeltLine Artist-in-Residence, Dr. Fahamu Pecou

Art on the Atlanta BeltLine‘s inaugural Artist-in-Residence, Dr. Fahamu Pecou,shares about his site-specific installation, Can’t Cop Cars without Seeing Cop Cars, which was on display on the Eastside Trail from January-June 2020.

Artist Statement

Crown Victoria Interceptors are a popular vehicle used in police forces across the country. When decommissioned, they are repurposed and sold at auto auctions, often purchased by Black men in urban communities. The irony of the Crown Victoria being a popular car amongst Black men can’t be overstated, but the silhouette of the vehicle continues to have a visceral affect.

The project explores the notion of Black leisure by highlighting spaces where Black men can experience freedom, autonomy, and joy. Few representations of Black life depict these images or even considers these as valid experiences. We Can’t Cop… uses cars as an allegorical as well as a literal suggestion of movement and escapism from the stresses and traumas of the world. From fear, to triumph, to joy and back to reality, the short film uses the aesthetics of magical realism to give viewers a momentary glimpse into the complex emotional landscape of Black male masculinity.

Watch Dr. Pecou’s short film: “We Can’t Cop Cars Without Seeing Cop Cars.”

About the Artist

Dr. Fahamu Pecou is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar whose works combine observations on hip-hop, fine art and popular culture. Pecou’s paintings, performance art, and academic work addresses concerns around contemporary representations of Black masculinity and how these images impact both the reading and performance of Black masculinity.

Fahamu received his BFA at the Atlanta College of Art in 1997 and an PhD from Emory University in 2018. Pecou maintains an active exhibition schedule as well as public lectures and speaking engagements at colleges and museums nationwide.

He is Art on the Atlanta BeltLine’s inaugural Artist-in-Residence for the 2019-2020 exhibition.

 

The 2019-2020 Art on the Atlanta BeltLine exhibition is presented by Northside Hospital, Georgia Natural Gas, and Ponce City Market. Additional sponsors include Park Tavern at the Gold level; Kroger at the Silver level; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, MailChimp, WarnerMedia, and Uber at the Bronze level; and Flashpoint Artists Initiative, Inman Park Neighborhood Association and Michael Ross | Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s at the Patron level. Major support for this project is provided by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Major funding for this organization is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

 

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