People Get Ready, Nasher Museum

Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC

September 01, 2018 – January 06, 2019

Since opening in 2005, the Nasher Museum has been dedicated to building a groundbreaking collection of contemporary art centered on diversity and inclusion. The museum’s emphasis is on artists historically underrepresented, overlooked, or excluded from art institutions, with a particular focus on artists of African descent. In this effort, the museum supports global artists of extraordinary vision, whose works spark opportunities for thoughtful engagement. Drawing primarily on the collection built over the last 12 years, People Get Ready includes works dating from 1970 through 2018 that address issues ranging from identity to social justice and environmentalism.

The title of the exhibition is derived from the 1965 gospel-influenced soul song by Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions. Informed by the civil rights movement and his grandmothers’ preaching, the lyrics speak of hope, faith and redemption in the face of hardship. “People Get Ready” was sampled and reinterpreted that same year as a ska track by Bob Marley and the Wailers, and then again in 1977 as his reggae hit “One Love/People Get Ready,” demonstrating its historical import and cross-cultural appeal.

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