SUGARCANE AND LIGHTNING by Adrian L. Burrell
THANK YOU CO-PUBLISHERS!!! ADRIAN'S BOOK IS GOING TO PRINT! ANTICIPATED RELEASE FEB. 2024
9 x 12 inches; ~120 images; 144 pages; hardcover. $50 plus shipping
Burrell's installation "Venus Blues" featured in SFChronicle!
“Sugarcane and Lightning is a mixtape of black life and American history from a familial perspective. This is about messages to the future, reparations, inheritance, and initiation. This is about the blackening of the world, revenge, the fugitive, movement, and the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, and where we come from.”
—Adrian L. Burrell
Adrian L. Burrell employs multiple modalities of imagery and storytelling to, in his words, “create a visual meditation on my family's untold history. Reinterpreting and archiving these histories creates a space for collective memory to challenge erasure, and explore the knowledge that Black kinship networks reveal.”
Burrell, who grew up surrounded by three generations of his family in Oakland, California, worked with an investigative genealogist while researching his family’s experiences in Louisiana, and tracing further to their origins in West Africa. His monograph combines his writing, photographs and footage with found letters and personal correspondence, pages from family albums, and stills from home videos, making fluid geographies and collapsing time.
Through installations, films, and this publication, Burrell aims to offer a model for other Black Americans of similar backgrounds to reimagine their narratives by drawing on the speculative nature of memory, and asserting documentation of multigenerational oral histories.
ADRIAN L. BURRELL (b. 1990, Oakland, California) is a third-generation Oakland artist utilizing photography, film, installation and experimental media. His work examines issues of race, class, and intergenerational dynamics, inviting moments where collective storytelling can be a site for remembering.
Burrell has lived and worked on four continents. He is a US Marine Corps veteran, and a graduate of San Francisco Art Institute (BFA, film) and Stanford University (MFA, Department of Art & Art History). At Stanford he lectured, served as the Black Graduate Student Community Outreach Chair, and was a visiting artist with Stanford's Institute for Diversity in the Arts.
He is also a resident at SF FILM, was a YBCA Creative Cohort fellow (2021-22), and was selected for the renowned Black Rock Residency in Dakar, Senegal, in 2022.
His first solo exhibition was on view at the ICA San Jose, California, from September 16, 2022–February 26, 2023. Burrell’s work has been featured through The New Yorker, BlackStar Film Festival, and PopUp Magazine (2022); Photoville, New York and the Pingyao International Photography Festival, China (2020); and at SXSW (2013), among others. In 2021, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art acquired “It’s After the End of the World, Don’t You Know That Yet?” This collective self-portrait examines normalized violence inflicted on Black lives. He received the SF Camerawork Juror's Choice Award in 2019. www.adrianburrell.art @1.living