My vision was to showcase the original Mothership stage prop from the P-Funk concert performances. Apparently, there are a couple of them, and they have their own myths surrounding their whereabouts. One of them is the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian in DC. I visited with Kevin Strait, the lead curator of the Musical Crossroads installation, where it is on view. He was very gracious, but they weren’t able to loan it out at that time. When I shared this news with the team, they offered to build one. They did a fantastic job paying tribute to the iconic symbol. Our crew was committed to making it a quality spectacle. I love how it turned out. OMCA’s staff are a deeply talented group of people. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with them all.
The video installation is a recording of a performance during P-Funk’s 1976 Earth Tour. In the footage, The Mothership is summoned down for George Clinton to emerge. Hearing Glen Goins incorporating Black spiritual sounds into the Mothership Connection as he summons it to earth is a beautiful companion to the installation. It illuminates P-Funk’s unique combination of theatrics and humor grounded in historical legacy. As the lyrics go, “We have returned to claim the pyramids.”
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