Ain’t Funny

Ain’t Funny © 2014 by Lili Bernard is an installation involving sculpture, video-art and photography. (All works are part of the same installation but can be exhibited and sold separately)

AIN’T FUNNY CRUCIFIX SCULPTURE

Detail of Ain’t Funny Crucifix 96″x72″x36″, Purple Sugar Cane, Conga Drum, Nails, Rope, Acrylic Paint, Watermelon Seeds, Digital Photograph © 2014 by Lili Bernard

Lili Bernard.  Detail of Ain’t Funny Crucifix, 2014. 96″x72″x36″, Purple Sugar Cane, Conga Drum, Nails, Rope, Acrylic Paint, Watermelon Seeds, Digital Photograph, 96″x72″x36″

Lili Bernard. Ain’t Funny Crucifix, 2014. 96″x72″x36″, Purple Sugar Cane, Conga Drum, Nails, Rope, Acrylic Paint, Watermelon Seeds, Digital Photograph, 96"x72"x36"

Lili Bernard. Ain’t Funny Crucifix, 2014. 96″x72″x36″, Purple Sugar Cane, Conga Drum, Nails, Rope, Acrylic Paint, Watermelon Seeds, Digital Photograph, 96″x72″x36″

AIN’T FUNNY VIDEOART

Ain’t Funny Videoart © 2014 by Lili Bernard

Inspired by Frantz Fanon’s book Black Skin, White Masks, Ain’t Funny is an examination of Black consciousness as seen through a concerned mother’s eyes and her son’s burgeoning manhood.

The youth (my eldest son Rafael) who is the subject of the video art piece — as well as of the related Nkisi crucifix sculpture and photography — asserts his Black masculinity while struggling with society’s attempt to label, dilute and destroy it. He navigates through the layers of his identity, combating racism and stereotypes — with his strength, diligence, resilience, joy, frustration, anger, compassion and vulnerability exposed.

The trope of the video-art, crucifix and photography is the syncretism (resulting from colonialism) of the African religion known as Palo in Cuba (referenced by the Congolese Nkisi-like nail fetish watermelon and whitened face) and Catholicism (referenced by the Passion of Christ and the tabernacle).  As stated in the beginning of the video, the work is dedicated to two women who were lynched along with their children: Mary Turner (1918 Georgia) who’s 8 month old fetus was gouged out of her belly and stomped to death by the mob as she hung upside down burnt and shot, and Laura Nelson (1919 Oklahoma) who was “swung” from a bridge alongside her 14 year old son L.D. Nelson, made famous by widely distributed souvenir postcards of their lynching.

AIN’T FUNNY PHOTOGRAPHY

(related digital photography to be exhibited along with the Ain’t Funny installation, but can be exhibited and sold separately)

Lili Bernard. Ain't Funny Warrior 1: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Lili Bernard.  Ain’t Funny Warrior 1: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Ain't Funny Warrior 2: My Son Rafael © 2014 by Lili Bernard

Lili Bernard. Ain’t Funny Warrior 2: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Lili Bernard. Ain't Funny Warrior 3: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Lili Bernard. Ain’t Funny Warrior 3: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Lili Bernard. Ain't Funny Warrior 4: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Lili Bernard. Ain’t Funny Warrior 4: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Lili Bernard. Ain't Funny Warrior 5: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Lili Bernard. Ain’t Funny Warrior 5: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Lili Bernard. Ain't Funny Warrior 6: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

Lili Bernard. Ain’t Funny Warrior 6: My Son Rafael, 2014. Digital Photograph

AS AMERICAN AS CHERRY PIE
(a related sculpture to be exhibited along with the Ain’t Funny installation, but can be exhibited and sold separately)

“As American As Cherry Pie” is the sculpture of the KKK baby in the highchair and the accompanying digital work. Both are part of the “Ain’t Funny” installation. The work remembers the lynching of the pregnant Mary Turner and Laura Nelson and her son to whom the video art piece is dedicated. “As American as Cherry Pie,” is inspired by Black Panther H. Rap Brown’s famous quote: “Violence is as American as Cherry Pie.”

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Lili Bernard. As American as Cherry Pie, 2014. Baby doll parts, Barbies, highchair, baby mobile, nails, cotton fabric, rope, chain, scissors, digital photos, children’s book, acrylic paint, 24″x28″x52″ Available for purchase

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Lili Bernard. As American as Cherry Pie (detail), 2014. Baby doll parts, Barbies, highchair, baby mobile, nails, cotton fabric, rope, chain, scissors, digital photos, children’s book, acrylic paint, 24″x28″x52″

I created As American as Cherry Pie for the exhibition Rise: Love, Revolution and the Black Panther Party which ran in the Spring of 2014 at ArtShare LA. The work was widely reviewed. Here are links to the reviews:

Lili Bernard. As American as Cherry Pie (detail), 2014. Baby doll parts, Barbies, highchair, baby mobile, nails, cotton fabric, rope, chain, scissors, digital photos, children's book, acrylic paint, 24″x28″x52″

Lili Bernard. As American as Cherry Pie (detail), 2014. Baby doll parts, Barbies, highchair, baby mobile, nails, cotton fabric, rope, chain, scissors, digital photos, children’s book, acrylic paint, 24″x28″x52″

LiliBookPageCoverCropped

Lili Bernard. As American as Cherry Pie (Installation Book Cover ), 2014. Digital image on paper on cardboard, 8″x10″

Lili Bernard. As American as Cherry Pie (Installation Book Page 6), 2014. Digital image on paper and cardboard, 8"x10"

Lili Bernard. As American as Cherry Pie (Installation Book Page 5), 2014. Digital image on paper and cardboard, 8″x10″

Lili Bernard. As American as Cherry Pie (Installation Book Page 6), 2014. Digital image on paper and cardboard, 8"x10"

Lili Bernard. As American as Cherry Pie (Installation Book Page 6), 2014. Digital image on paper and cardboard, 8″x10″

SELF PORTRAIT
(a related mixed media work to be exhibited along with the Ain’t Funny installation, but can be exhibited and sold separately)

Self Portrait, Mixed Media, 36"x30"x9" © 2012 by Lili Bernard, Available for purchase

Lili Bernard. Self Portrait Tortured, 2012. Wood, rope, canvas, paint bush, metal screw, acrylic paint, 31″x28″x5″ Available for purchase