Five on the Black Hand Side
LaMont Hamilton (b. 1982) is an autodidact interdisciplinary artist working in Chicago and New York. Hamilton works primarily in photography, film and performance including the modern dance piece Dapline! along with collaborator Andre Zachery of Renegade Performance Group. Dapline! was called by The New York Times “rich in emotional nuance and gestural beauty” and named one of the NYT best dance shows of 2015. Hamilton has been the recipient of several residencies, fellowships and awards including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, MacDowell Colony, MFAH Dora Maar program in Menerbes France, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Artadia Award, Art Matters Grant, Artist in Residence at Duke University’s African and African American Studies and and Bemis Center for Contemporary Art and the City of Chicago’s IAP Award.
Five on the Black Hand Side is a project exploring gestural languages that were born in African American communities during the 1960s and 1970s, including the “the dap” and the black power handshake. Historically, the dap is both a symbol among African American men that expresses unity, strength, defiance, or resistance and a complex language for communicating information.
The dap originated during the late 1960s among black G.I.s stationed in bases in the Pacific and throughout European during the Vietnam War and was an important symbol of black consciousness, identity, and cultural unity during a time of racial unrest. At Camargo, he is looking at the global expansion of the gesture particularly as it moved into hip hop culture. The goal is to connect with the past and present hip hop scene in Marseille and Paris to understand the dap’s significance to these cultures and to relay the history of the gesture, thus creating a global bridge via the handshake.