Carnegie Mellon Art Professor Ayanah Moor Explores
Hip-Hop, Cultural Ownership at IUP's Kipp Gallery
PITTSBURGH — Carnegie Mellon University Associate Art Professor Ayanah Moor's exhibit, "W(RAPPER)," will run Oct. 2–26 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania's (IUP) Kipp Gallery. In the exhibit, Moor explores the history of hip-hop and the cultural issues that surround it.
Moor says African-American musicians dominated hip-hop music until Eminem broke open the genre for white rappers in 1999. In the exhibit, Moor examines cultural ownership and poses several questions, including whether or not white rappers can respect and recreate a black musical genre, and whether the multibillion-dollar hip-hop industry has sold itself out.
On her Web site, Moor asks, "Does he [Eminem] (like other so-called white appropriators) simply mimic black speech, dance and song, making him a natural heir to his burnt-cork faced ancestors fascinated with people of African descent? Or does he (born in largely black-populated Detroit) represent something altogether different?" Moor uses performance, video and visual content to explore these issues.
Moor works in various media, including print, video and mixed. She has held exhibits at McDaniel and Wellesley colleges, Duke University, The Print Center (Philadelphia), Space Gallery (Pittsburgh) and Women's Studio Workshop (New York). She received degrees in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and the Tyler School of Art. Her essays are included in "Home Girls Make Some Noise!: Hip-Hop Feminism Anthology." She also teaches a course at Carnegie Mellon called "Hip-Hop and Contemporary Art." To hear Moor talk about the upcoming exhibit, please visit Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts podcast program LabA6 at http://www.cmu.edu/cfa/labA6.html.