For its presentation in the FotoFest 2020 Biennial, AFRICAN COSMOLOGIES, CAMH will showcase a selection of unconventional photography and new media produced by strategies paralleling the musical methods of the innovative legacy of the late Houston legend DJ Screw, in the exhibition Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City Through Mutated Lenses.
Until his death in 2000, DJ Screw distorted songs by musical artists, creating “chopped and screwed” versions of the original by slowing tempo, reducing pitch, chopping lyrics, and layering freestyles by Houston-based rappers. Through his signature stretched sound, popularized via 300+ mixtapes, he also displayed deft skill evident in his transitions, sampling choices, and beat juggling.
Slowed and Throwed features unconventional photography and new media produced by strategies paralleling the musical methods of the innovative DJ. In their photo-adjacent practices, the participating artists appropriate, mash-up, collage, and mutate photographic inputs, in addition to slowing time. Slowed and Throwed contends that remixing “sampled” materials is a radical aesthetic act utilized by both artists and musicians. Through reconfigurations of sourced materials, the featured artists draw attention to inequities stemming from race, gender, and sexual orientation, suggesting new possibilities and alternative realities.
Serving as the physical and conceptual core of Slowed and Throwed is a nesting exhibition of DJ Screw archival materials. Placing the curated archive in dialogue with photo-based artworks demonstrates the resonances between DJ Screw’s creative process and those of the exhibiting artists.