American Artist Shaper of God

American Artist: Shaper of God

In the religious text Earthseed, written by the protagonist of Octavia E. Butler’s 1993 novel Parable of the Sower, there is a repeated epitaph that instructs readers to “Shape God.” Lauren Oya Olamina, a young Black woman, the religion’s creator, tells us that “God can’t be resisted or stopped, but can be shaped and focused.” American Artist: Shaper of God, an exhibition consisting of a new video and sculpture conceived for REDCAT, takes inspiration not only from Octavia E. Butler’s novels, but from her own life. As a descendant of African-Americans that migrated to the enclave of Pasadena, and growing up in the 1950s, when Pasadena’s own rocket science legacy was beginning, along with Los Angeles becoming the capital of science-fiction, Butler’s legacy is one of unacknowledged overlaps and connections. This exhibition has been developed in conversation with classmates and scholars of Octavia E. Butler and Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in an attempt to give breadth to Butler’s legacy. Shaper of God observes how Butler’s writing tapped into the vital heartbeat of American history.

American Artist: Shaper of God is curated by Adam Kleinman, Lead Curator for North America, KADIST.

Associated Images: