You Gotta Know It is a durational, moving meditation on Black collectivity, labor, and joy. Spanning the seven-hour period of the museum’s open hours, Bimbola Akinbola performs the 18-step version of the line dance known as the Electric Slide with a small ensemble of Black women performers. The performance uses the shared choreography of the Electric Slide to explore the labor and joy of being in community. You Gotta Know It is accompanied by a constantly shifting soundscape, created by Elise Hernandez, which includes music from across the Black diaspora, poetry, pop culture sound bites, and ambient noise.
This performance is free and open to the public. Visitors are invited to join the performance for as long as they wish over the course of the day.
You Gotta Know It is presented as part of Chicago Performs, the MCA’s annual weekend of groundbreaking new performances by Chicago artists. Each year, three artists share new works of performance, including pieces developed through MCA’s In Progress series and the New Works Initiative Chicago Commission.
Chicago Performs is organized by Tara Aisha Willis, Curator, with Laura Paige Kyber, Curatorial Assistant.
About the Artist
Bimbola Akinbola is a Chicago-based visual artist, performance maker, and scholar. Her artistic and scholarly work is concerned with the complicated and nagging nature of belonging, queerness, and the concept of family. Incorporating a variety of practices ranging from drawing and painting to rubbing her make-up stained skin across surfaces, her work explores mark-making and performance as modes of organization, remembrance, and repair. Bimbola has shown work at the MCA, Center on Halsted, The Riverside Arts Center, and Compound Yellow, and has collaborated on creative projects with universities all over the country. She is an assistant professor of performance studies at Northwestern University.
Chicago Performs is supported by The New Works Initiative, which puts the creative process at the heart of the MCA’s relationship with Chicago by supporting the development of new performances and creative projects.
Lead support for the New Works Initiative is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.
Lead support for the 2021–22 season of MCA Performance and Public Programs is also provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.
Major support is provided by the Alphawood Foundation and by Julie and Larry Bernstein.
Generous support is provided by Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation; Ginger Farley and Bob Shapiro, Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation, N.A., Trustee; Susan Manning and Doug Doetsch; Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund; and Anonymous.
Additional generous support is provided by Ms. Shawn M. Donnelley and Dr. Christopher M. Kelly, Cynthia Hunt and Philip Rudolph, Ashlee Jacob, Anne L. Kaplan, Sharon and Lee Oberlander, D. Elizabeth Price and Lou Yecies, and Enact, the MCA’s Performance & Public Programs affinity group.
The MCA is a proud member of the Museums in the Park and receives major support from the Chicago Park District.