In New Installation, Artist Fahamu Pecou Explores Vulnerability, Love Within Black Male Community

"The Space Between" is on view now through March 20 at the Hambidge Cross-Pollination Art Lab.
"The Space Between" is on view now through March 20 at the Hambidge Cross-Pollination Art Lab.
Credit Fahamu Pecou

In his paintings, performance art and academic work, interdisciplinary artist Dr. Fahamu Pecou addresses concerns around contemporary representations of Black men.

He explores how these images impact both reading and performance of Black masculinity.

A new installation of Pecou’s work, “The Space Between,” is on view now at Hambidge Cross-Pollination Art Lab.

Pecou joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes to discuss this installation.

Interview Highlights

About the title:

“‘The Space Between’ refers to the gap or chasm that exists within the communication that a lot of Black men have with one another. There’s often a perception that within Black masculinity that there’s only animosity, competition and violence. But that necessarily hasn’t been my experience. With the men in my community, especially amongst my immediate friends and family, it’s very much a space of love and support and affirmation. I wanted to create a space for those kind of dialogues to be not just imaged, but also normalized,” said Pecou.

About the installation:

“The installation is comprised of two primary pieces. There is an interactive digital display, which takes the form of a mirror. The idea is to be able to see ourselves in others. So, when you walk into the space, you confront this mirror. You see yourself reflected, but as you get close enough to it, it actually triggers a playback. Within the mirror are video portraits of Black men who look you directly in the eye and say, ‘I see you. I am you. I love you,'” said Pecou.

He continued, “There’s also 20-minute documentary that features the subjects who are the models in the digital piece. They’re talking about expressions and experiences that they’ve had with other Black men and these affirmations and love.”

Why he created “The Space Between”:

“When we talk about some of the issues plaguing the Black community and specifically the Black men, we need to know that we are loved. We need to hear that. We need to show that,” said Pecou.

He continued, “The main idea for me was to really think about the ways in which love can be a transformative and healing agent for so much of the trauma and pathologies that exist within our community.”

The installation is on view through March 20.

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