© 2019 Art Galleries at Black Studies

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ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

In Their Own Form presents a collection of works that illuminate blackness as distinct from the oppression, racism, and stereotypes ever-present in Western cultures—mediated through Afrofuturist themes, including time travel and escapism. Through Afrofuturism—a cross-disciplinary genre that combines science fiction, Afrocentrism, fantasy, technology, and non-Western mythologies—the photographs and videos presented here deploy an intellectual and artistic strategy to reimagine and repurpose the fraught past, present, and future of the transnational black experience. 

 

Speculative futures, coping with the past as means of navigating the present, and re-imaging the future are themes deeply entrenched within the Afrofuturist movement and recur in each artist’s work. In his foundational text Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel Delany, Greg Tate and Tricia Rose, Mark Dery poses the question “Can a community whose past has deliberately been rubbed out, and whose energies have subsequently been consumed by the search for legible traces of its history, imagine possible futures?” Favoring personhood, both fantastical and actual, over perceived realities, In Their Own Form brings together works by thirteen artists who contemplate the past—and in the process reveal possible futures. 

- Sheridan Tucker Anderson 

 

Artists featured in the exhibition include Alun Be, Kudzanai Chiurai, Jim Chuchu, Teju Cole, Ayana V. Jackson, Mohau Modisakeng, Fabrice Monteiro, Zanele Muholi, Aida Muluneh, Paulo Nazareth, Zohra Opoku, Alexis Peskine, and Mary Sibande.