Boney Manilli by Edgar Arceneaux

by Paulette Ely

Edgar Arceneaux has devoted his life to creating contemporary art and other platforms that speak the narratives of those unheard. His newest project is no exception, as the exhibition/ film Boney Manilli draws inspiration from 90’s pop sensation and controversial character duo Milli Vanilli. Milli Vanilli was publicly outed for lip syncing and stripped of their Grammy victories, basically being exiled from all things fame, success and even acceptance. The play calls to our current cultural climate as the victims of ridicule are a spectacle in America identified for their long braided hair and dark skin. Channeling the undeniable intersection of popular culture and politics, the consequences of all things fake news is portrayed throughout this production. Arcaneaux launched his 15k Kickstarter campaign today for this play, as this immersive play calls for its audience in more aspects than one. The exhibition takes the shape of a church revival, discotheque, burial ceremony and puppet show while channeling some Back to the Future vibes as the crowd disco dances their way through 83 years of musical history. To tell a story is one thing, but to paint the picture of identity and infamy within the true realm of reality is Arceneaux artistry at its best.