Reading Reflections, 2021
4 × 8 × 11 feet
September 3 – November 14, 2021
The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) is pleased to present its most recent Art on the Plaza commission, Reading Reflections by Miami-based artist Najja Moon.
With this work, Moon explores themes of reflection and self-empowerment through a human-scale intervention jutting out from MOCA’s plaza. The materiality of the sculpture, primarily fabricated from dichroic glass, creates a prismatic light effect where the viewer can simultaneously look through and see themselves reflected in the oil-slick surface. Experienced from different angles, light conditions, and dimensions, the work draws viewers into their own image, while intricate shadows and atmospheric color fog alter perception.
Etched upon the large slab pitched at a steep angle leading up from the viewer’s feet is a drawing by Moon. Her signature writhing line and enigmatic symbolism, arrows, and flow lines at first seem to indicate an encrypted set of dance instructions. Sunlight casts shadows from the drawing onto the ground, naturally projecting and amplifying it. In fact, the shadows from the drawing are intended to create an intricate and mysterious game of hop-scotch for visitors to engage with. Interspersed in the Moon’s elegant calligraphic language are pieces of text, both derived from and a product of the line-work. The text suggests rules, challenges, and directions for what to do next. Questions and prompts result in highly personal outcomes, such as “How old were you when you had your first kiss?” Viewers respond by moving to the next point and so on, creating an idiosyncratic but completely authentic physical map of their life experiences.
Both engaged in a kind of sensory-deprivation exercise, light-and-space-movement phenomena, and meditation, Reading Reflections is a powerful participatory artwork that playfully nudges catharsis, self-confrontation, and reflexivity.
-Amanda Sanfilippo Long
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Najja Moon is a Miami-based artist and arts organizer with a practice centered around the idea that art is utilitarian. Her practice is an amalgamation of practicalities that improve her life; design and language, cultural responsibility, and community. In her visual arts practice, she uses drawing and text to explore the intersections of queer identity, the body and movement, black culture, and familiar relations both personal and communal.
Art on the Plaza is presented by MOCA, with Major Support from the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (NMCRA). Featured artists include Reginald O’Neal, Studio AMLgMATD (Laz Ojalde and Natalie Zlamalova), a collaborative presentation by Morel Doucet and Stephen Arboite, Nice N’ Easy (Allison Matherly & Jeffrey Noble), and Najja Moon. The museum will host a series of virtual programs to coincide with the art installations throughout the year.
For more information on this program and others at the museum, visit https://mocanomi.org. MOCA is located at 770 NE 125th St., North Miami, FL 33161. It is open Wednesday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Thursday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Mondays and major holidays). Admission to the museum is $10 and free for MOCA members and North Miami residents. For more information, visit mocanomi.org, call 305-893-6211, or email [email protected]