LOW Museum founder and visual artist Pastiche Lumumba recently moved from Atlanta, GA to Brooklyn, NY. Hira Mahmood chatted with him about memes, ‘low culture’, and the aesthetics that turn him on.
I met Pastiche Lumumba in 2010. I was an undergraduate studying English and he was studying Studio Art. We met at an organizing meeting about budget cuts and formed an invaluable personal friendship. In recent years, we’ve worked together in more official capacities related to art.
Lumumba and I have worked together as both writers and co-curators, and much of our conversations have involved discussing the complexities of whiteness and colonial archival practices as seen in mainstream art institutions. Both of us, along with other creatives, explored these topics via the LOW Museum – a space dedicated to the critical engagement of contemporary “low” culture – which hosted art exhibitions, film screenings, group discussions, critiques, and more.
In addition to Lumumba’s curatorial work at the LOW Museum, he also works as an artist of mixed media and digital art, and is a self-identified memestress. Currently, Lumumba is living and working in Brooklyn with the Bruce High Quality Foundation. I chatted with him to see what he has been up to and share his thoughts with Mask.
Where were you born, and where are do you consider home?
I was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 1988. Home? I grew up in Houston, Tanzania, Ft. Lauderdale, and then lived in Atlanta for 15 years so one geographic home isn’t really a thing for me. I joke about being from New York since I moved here but home is more of a feeling of community than a fixed location. The best way I can describe that feeling is meeting an internet friend IRL for the first time, randomly, in a city that neither of you live in.
What was your first experience with artistic tools or mediums?
I used to draw a lot as a kid because my mom did. When I started doing art as an adult it was with film and photography.