“critical fabulation” is the combining of historical and archival research with critical theory and fictional narrative to fill in the blanks left in the historical record. (Saidiya Hartman)
Temple of Color and Sound is an itinerant gathering, ritual, and contemplative performance space. A place for spiritual and intellectual refuge and recreation; its proprietor, Maryam de Capita is an artist, mystic, and entertainer from Republica, a free Black republic on the Gulf Coast of North America. With its capital located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, Republica has played an important role in the struggle for Black autonomy in the Western Hemisphere by using sound as its primary organizing principle and revolutionary strategy. Amid ever present natural and man-made threats to the security and autonomy of all the people of the Gulf Coast, Maryam presents her philosophy about the use of objects, text, and the chops and loops of original, popular and sacred music as self actualizing modalities and vehicles toward collective liberation.
photography by Ashley Lorraine.
EXCERPT FROM SOUNDSCAPE (VIVA LA REPUBLICA)
Power, Gris-Gris, and the Plurality of a Haunting: Maryam de Capita’s New World Order
EM: Tell us about yourself and Maryam de Capita. Who are you and what do you do?
Robinson: My name is Kristina Kay Robinson. I’m a writer and a performance artist born and raised in New Orleans. Who is Maryam and what does she do?
Maryam de Capita is a persona I embody at her will. Maryam lives in Capita, Republica, the capital city of a free Black republic on the Gulf coast of North America. Her last name comes from the Latin, “per capita” or “by the head.” In part, her family line includes refugees of the Haitian revolution accepted in the Louisiana colony, who were called “heads.” She is also a citizen of the Bambara and Natchez nations. Her last name also refers to those rebels who were captured and beheaded by the Americans during the uprisings, as well as to the practice of burying the heads of priests and holy men separately from their bodies to protect their knowledge.
Maryam is from a long line of devotees of the Blessed Mother. She’s worshipped in all her spiritual incarnations in the free territory, so Maryam is not the only “Maryam de Capita” in Republica, but maybe the most vocal for now.
Maryam is an artist, mystic, and entertainer. She’s the proprietor of Temple of Color and Sound, an itinerant gathering, ritual, and performance space. Maryam is sort of Republica’s official/unofficial ambassador. She’s been traveling about the world for the past few years. She is having fun, but misses home terribly.
Republica: Temple of Color and Sound has been presented in exhibition:
“The Rent is Too Damn High” in New Orleans
“Welcome to the Afrofuture” during Miami Art Week,
New Museum’s residency program, Ideas City and the New Orleans African American Museum
in collaboration with V. Mitch McEwen for MoMa’s Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America.
Independent Curators International’s, Notes For Tomorrow:
Toronto, ON, Canada
National Gallery of Zimbabwe
Blue Galleries at Boise State University
Koa Gallery at Kapi‘olani Community College
Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery
Auckland, New Zealand
March 12, 2022 – May 29, 2022
TheCube Project Space
Sifang Art Museum
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College
The Front, Maryam’s Refrain
PROSPECT 5: “Yesterday We Said Tomorrow.” Programming Partner. “Viva La Republica”