Sherman Fleming performs the second installment of Coming Soon, on the streets of Philadelphia. This three-part performance is part of an ongoing series, BLACK PHALLACY. Fleming uses this performance as a way to dramatize feelings of vulnerability he feels as he navigates public spaces.
Sherman Fleming becomes increasingly immobilized as an accumulated array of wood rods wedge his body between twin columns.
Shave Sharp is the inaugural piece from a series of performances entitled States of Suspense. Fleming reclaims the then yet-to-open National Gallery East Wing by using its wedge as a shaving tool.
De Jacht op Zwarte Piet unpacks the role of the so-called moor(ish) assistant Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) to St. Nicolaas, the Dutch patron saint of children who visits them during Sinterklaas. Fleming buries himself in a pit of cinnamon and sugar which coats his body and, upon emerging, is licked off. In this action Fleming merges Zwarte Piet, the formation that surrounds the eating of a traditional confection, taai taai in order to expose Dutch traditions of the consumption of the Black body.
Fleming is laced into a pair of boots which are suspended from the ceiling. Upside down he walks on his hands in a circular motion until he gathers enough momentum to swing his body in ever increasing loops.
Underground Structures seeks to capture uniquely male gestures. Fleming handles select objects he employs to evoke themes of fertility, regeneration, entropy and dissolution.
Haint is a southern vernacular term meaning ghost. The action and subsequent series of drawings attempt to erase the word NIGGER by using the process of drawing and withdrawing.
Fleming repurposes common objects to deepen his monologue about childhood remembrances and recurring dreams in segregated Maryland
Sherman Fleming, Haig Paul have collaborated for over 25 years. Here, they collaborate with dancer Josephine Nicholson in Pretending To Be Rock. Fleming, on hands and knees, endures wax from some 200 candles raining down on his body, all the while, Ms. Nicholson hovers above him in a waterfall. The performance duration is two hours. The action, performed at District of Columbia Art Center, is captured by videographer Linda Lewett.