“Amen! Ashe! Word!” The one-night-only Ministers of Sound installation on Sunday, Feb. 24, transformed Space 2 into an artistic sanctuary worthy of the DJs honored in the installation — as well as the curator’s late father.
About five years after initially conceiving the project, Kemi Bennings of Evolve! Artists Live, along with a buzzing crowd of about 200, saw — and felt — it come to life.
The warehouse-style room had undergone a cultural sanctification that started in the wee hours, complete with stained glass framed and hung from the ceiling, centuries-old pews, and the iconic red carpet runner that led from the door to the “pulpit.”
It was there that a number of the DJs honored in the photos took to the turntables.
The DJ procession included DJ Jamal Ahmad (WCLK-FM 91.9), DJ Kai Alce, DJ Salah Ananse, DJ Applejac, DJ Ausar, DJ Karl Injex, DJ Cha-Cha Jones, DJ Kemit, DJ Osmose, DJ Ramon Rawsoul (House In The Park), DJ Sky, DJ Tabone (WRFG-FM 89.3) and DJ Mike Zarin.
Each played two songs, which Bennings had directed should “inspire and empower the crowd.”
I found myself most grateful for Cha-Cha’s hip-hop leanings, Applejac’s golden and timeless beats that you know but yet don’t, and Ahmad’s Stevie Wonder selections.
Although the music added to the rapturous atmosphere, the photography served as the basis for the installation.
The photos were taken by Annette Brown. They captured each DJ in an environment — and sometimes in spiritual garb — that reflected his or her own spiritual aesthetic. The photo titles, printed on a label pasted onto a 45-inch record, also reflected those beliefs.
In some cases, captions that Bennings wrote about various spiritual tenants were matched up with a DJ.