BRAVE NEW WORLD NFT (POETRY)
Featuring Kai-Isaiah Jamal (developed in collaboration with Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones)
DURATION: INFINITE LOOP (40 SEC)
RESERVE PRICE: 0.1 ETH
Annka Kultys is pleased to present « Brave New World », a 3D NFT that was auctioned on Foundation for 24 hours starting on Friday, 24 September 2021, at 6pm. Developed in collaboration with the artists Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, the NFT features Kai-Isaiah Jamal, a London-raised non-binary BIPOC campaigner, poet, fashion model and member of the LGBTQ+ community. « Brave New World » made history when it appeared on the cover of the Evening Standard Magazine on 17 September, 2021 at the start of London Fashion Week. Never before had there been an NFT of the black, non-binary, politicised body on the cover of a printed magazine.
« Brave New World » is a looping 40-second video focused on Kai Isaiah Jamal, feet spread, one arm akimbo, gazing into the distance atop a rocky mesa set in a dystopian futurescape; all cold, dark, shiny metallic mountains, floating stone asteroids and mist-covered oceans, beneath epic cloud-strewn skies, off which reflects the light of a dawning sun. And it is in this sense that the NFT echoes Aldous Huxley’s seminal novel of the same name, where the protagonist John, also known as The Savage, is seen as an outsider in both his native world of the Mesoamerican-style Indian reservation in California where he was raised, as well as in the ostensibly civilised yet totalitarian World State that dominates the earth in the novel; its notions of otherness and alienation drawing obvious parallels with the treatment of queer, trans and non-binary people in today’s society.
Jamal appears in « Brave New World » resplendent in a leopard-print coat as the camera revolves around them, while in the voiceover they note: “ Nothing truly lasts for ever, I chuckle. But this body, they repeat. Which I don’t truly understand, because I have lived in so many bodies, I know my soul has travelled into enough vessels, and needed to, before arriving in mine. This loop of life cannot be restrained by what your soul sits inside.”
Jamal, who is referred to by the pronouns they/them, made waves in the fashion industry through Stella McCartney’s 2019 breast cancer campaign, for which they wrote a poem about how the disease can affect the trans community. The Evening Standard shoot was at London’s FBFX headquarters, where costumes have been made for films like Guardians of the Galaxy.
This 3D NFT was commissioned by the Evening Standard. Project in association with Phillips Auction, and presented at Annka Kultys Gallery from 24 – 25 September 2021. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to The Felix Project, an organisation fighting hunger across London.