Y H B H S (card catalog) selection 5
Paul Mpagi Speuya, artist / photographer
"FIRE!! It lasted only one issue partially due to criticism
for it's realistic depiction of homosexuality and racial ambiguity...."
Paul Mpagi Speuya writes, " FIRE!! was an independent quarterly magazine of from the Harlem Renaissance in 1926 of writing, poetry, visual arts and criticism. It lasted only one issue partially due to criticism for it's realistic depiction of homosexuality and racial ambiguity in Richard Bruce Nugent's story "Smoke, Lilies and Jade." Also among the fascinating circle of collaborators who made FIRE!! were Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, and Aaron Douglas.
FIRE!! has been wonderfully reproduced from one of Nugent's original copies and is available at www.firepress.com
FIRE!! has been an exciting discovery as I have recently begun a year residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The creators' approaches to the complex lives from which artwork springs, the depiction of identity as continually shifting among multiple concerns, and challenge to the main channels of discourse at the time is incredibly inspiring. It's a beautiful zine in both form and content to which I'm sure I'll often return.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya (1982, San Bernardino, CA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He studied photography and imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Basel, Sydney, Toronto, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg. His work has been featured and reviewed in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Interview, Capricious, V, Paper, and BUTT, among other publications. Recent exhibitions include 30 Seconds Off an Inch at The Studio Museum in Harlem and 50 Artists Photograph the Future at Higher Pictures and recent awards include the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency (2009-2010) and Artist-in-Residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (2010). A monograph of his work was published in April 2007. The Accidental Egyptian and Occidental Arrangements, a publication of his collaboration with fellow artist Timothy Hull, was just published in Summer 2010.