at HVW8 Gallery Berlin.

NOT TO LOSE MY HEAD, is an exhibition by Jay “One” Ramier.
In this series of paintings and collages, Jay “One” Ramier retrieves and reinterprets the first hip hop song that was also a work of social criticism. “The Message” performed by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, feat. Melle Mel and Duke Bootee, describes social disarray, violence, decadence, alienation and self-harm. Released in 1982, it was widely recognized as one of the most iconic songs of late 20th century, and still speaks to the social reality of today.

In “The Message,” hip hop’s tone, formerly celebratory, becomes one of desperate urgency:

“Don’t push me ‘cause I’m close to the edge
I’m trying not to lose my head
It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under”

By crystallizing elements of the song and its video into still images, Jay Ramier invites us to pause and consider in detail the harsh realities and evocative expressions of urban life. In this moment, hip hop’s mission changes. Jay Ramier has always stated his love for music, which he considers inspirational and the mightiest of all art forms:

“I like the way music, like the holy spirit, can take possession of one’s soul, either by the power of the lyrics or the enchantment of hypnotic melodies or sounds.”

HVW8 Gallery Berlin, Linienstraße 161, 10115 Berlin

jenny@hvw8.com , manuel@hvw8.com