Colored People Time: Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, Banal Presents @ MIT List Visual Arts Center07.02.2020
Colored People Time (CPT) offers a profound exploration into how the history of chattel slavery and colonialism in America not only shaped the foundations of our country but exists in our present moment and impacts our future. The group exhibition travels to the List Center from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, where it was organized by Associate Curator Meg Onli.
CPT builds on my ongoing curatorial investigation of how black Americans use language as a tool to navigate a society marked by inequality and racism. The title of the exhibition is drawn from the vernacular phrase ‘Colored People’s Time,’ which is simultaneously perceived as a joke within the black community and as a performance that allows an individual to exist within a temporality created by themselves. The phrase comes to function as a linguistic tool for people of color to control their own temporality even when placed within the construct of Western time. –Meg Onli
Broken into three distinct chapters—Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, and Banal Presents— the exhibition’s sequential framework roots itself within this malleable and fluid concept of time and builds new narratives and public discourse around the everyday experiences of black people in the United States. Unexpected connections between contemporary art, historical objects, and archival materials inform and activate each chapter, fostering innovative dialogue between the Penn Museum’s African Collection and a wide range of media and new commissions created by emerging and established artists, including Aria Dean, Kevin Jerome Everson, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Carolyn Lazard, Dave McKenzie, Martine Syms, Sable Elyse Smith, and Cameron Rowland. At the List Center, all three chapters are presented simultaneously.
Exhibition recommended by Jenny Jaskey
Jenny Jaskey is Distinguished Lecturer in the Department of Art & Art History at Hunter College and Director and Curator of the Artist’s Institute, New York, where she has organized exhibitions with artists including Pierre Huyghe, Lucy McKenzie, Carolee Schneemann, Hilton Als, and Tauba Auerbach. She is co-editor, with Christoph Cox and Suhail Malik, of Realism Materialism Art (2015, Sternberg & CCS Bard) and editor of Pierre’s (2017, Koenig Books) and Carolee’s (2018, Koenig Books).