Viktor le. Givens is a found object installation performance artist whose practice centers around the gathering and arrangement of ancestral objects to activate spaces for site specific public rituals. By connecting the material culture of his ancestors with pre and post modern spiritual theologies, le. Givens hopes to extend and reimagine the folk customs of his family . His material archive is comprised of the forgotten and discarded household items found during excavations of East Texas, Louisiana, Havana Cuba and Mexico City. . Through the accumulation of these rich cultural artifacts , le. Givens. seeks to create spaces that inspire the activation of cultural and spiritual memory. For the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, my goal is to synthesize the history of my ancestral land with histories of Freedom Colonies established along the Eastern Seaboard and throughout the newly forming West. I have initialized this connection in my work titled Mo’lasses: an Integrated Ancestral Technologies Project. This work consists of iterative combinations of archival research imagined through visual, performance, sonic and immersive installations using found objects from my ancestral land. This comes together through an interdisciplinary experimental investigation designed to collect and reinterpret cultural data relating to the memories and material archives of rural southern black settlements and its relevance especially for contemporary urban audiences. Toni Morrison’s speech, The Site of Memory undergirds this relevance.
I excite when I hear read watch once lived story poems of emancipation's Jubilation--cotton picking plucked in burlap sacs full of weevils wobbling 'bout the treacherous bulb-- drifted on the shores of the Atlantic in the bosom of Osun where cakes were offerings of meal tilled and readied by han-- the stars and mathematics--rituals and villages filled with shoes made for walking the nomadic tribes --the drifters the seeds-- it all reminds me of my reason, gives possibility on as to how life was simplicity tightly wove sewn crocheted into complexity, cause those living then considered what life living would be fore me in the now."