"Jafa has taken four seven-foot tires — gargantuan things, made for monster trucks by a Colorado manufacturer — and laced each one with a mesh of iron chain; in lieu of hubcaps are abstract medallion sculptures that are 3-D printed from melted chains.
These are industrial chakras, sacred shapes from the factory forge. They manifest one of Jafa's obsessions, the culture of monster vehicles that has fascinated him since his Mississippi childhood, but the heavy manufacturing feel also evokes — at least for this viewer — America's economic changes, notably the deindustrialization and transition to the service economy that Jafa's generation watched unfold and that dashed so many Black middle-class aspirations.
The installation has a sound component: a loop of Teddy Pendergrass ballads that emit from floor speakers. The songs drench the room in a valiant but wounded masculinity, seductive and probably toxic, as authentic a product of late-industrial America as are the tires and gantry. It’s a spacious, yearning, open-ended work; a big mood."
- Siddhartha Mitter
for Kindred Arts
September 21, 2021