“Dominique White and Alberta Whittle: Sargasso Sea” at ICA, Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Share This Post

“Dominique White and Alberta Whittle: Sargasso Sea” explores the impact of transatlantic colonial legacies on contemporary understandings of power, race, gender, and geography. The exhibition takes its name from the natural phenomenon of the Sargasso Sea, the only body of water defined by oceanic currents rather than shorelines. The body of water and how it conjures questions of migration and Black feminist theory serves as a conceptual link between White and Whittle’s work, shown here for the first time together. Through monumental oceanic-inspired sculptures, paintings, and videos, White and Whittle investigate the dualities of the sea’s transformative powers, as a site that disrupted colonial voyages as well as a metaphorical place of regeneration.

“We are honored to bring Daniella Rose King back to ICA to complete a trilogy of conceptually linked curatorial investigations that she began during her ICA fellowship,” remarks Zoë Ryan, Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director. “This type of sustained investment in innovative and ambitious work perfectly aligns with ICA’s mission to serve as a launchpad for new art and ideas, one which supports both artists and curators alike. The Whitney-Lauder Fellowship has been important in realizing this part of our mission, as it provides emerging professionals access to the art world and opportunities to grow as curators.”

“In my research of contemporary practices engaging with transatlantic colonialism, I was struck by the poetic and material approaches of both White and Whittle—two very different artists who are both interacting with this subject matter in incredible new ways,” said guest curator Daniella Rose King. “For both artists, the Atlantic and specifically the Sargasso Sea are sites of confluence, bringing together natural and human forces, complicated histories with potential futures of rebirth. Nautical mythologies, theories of Afro-pessimism and Black subjectivity, and forms of collective care converge in their practices, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to create a dedicated space for this creative dialogue.”

The Sargasso Sea lies north of the Caribbean, stretching up towards the American coast and out towards the mid-Atlantic, encompassing an ecological system supported by the seaweed Sargassum. Historically, the sea was the site of marine routes that eventually would reorganize the world through colonial expansion, trade, trafficking, and enslavement. In this exhibition, White and Whittle recall these nautical histories through their use of materials, ranging from seashells to salvaged sails, and create works that invoke futures that upend our current realities, with counterimages of shipwreck, salvage, and Black, feminist-led revolution.

On view throughout ICA’s second-floor galleries, White and Whittle’s work will be exhibited in dialogue with one another. Highlighted works include large-scale sculptures by White, which incorporate natural materials manipulated by wind and the sea. Exhibited in states of suspension, assemblages To the Hunted, May You Continue to Be Their Worst Nightmare I (2022) and Can We Be Known Without Being Hunted (2022) feature towering iron harpoons, rusted and bent, entangled with damaged rope and heavy twine to summon a range of potential alternative narratives of Black embodiment.

Other highlights include Whittle’s feature-length video installation Between A Whisper and a Cry (2019), which explores theories that utilize aspects of natural phenomena to describe how reverberations of the slave trade persist today. Alongside the projection screen, the installation will feature a partly-sunken replica of what is known in Barbados as a “chattel house,” a small moveable wooden house with origins in the plantation system. Also on view are a series of Whittle’s more recent paintings that explore notions of the “Caribbean Gothic” influenced by her reading of Jean Rhys’ text Wide Sargasso Sea as well as suspended installations incorporating cowrie shells and beads.

at ICA, Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
until June 2, 2024

]

Source link

More To Explore

James Reka – Floriana
Art

James Reka – Floriana

James Reka’s latest show, Floriana, opens at Backwoods Gallery, Melbourne this week. The Australian artist returns to his hometown for the first time in six years for this body of work, completed partly at his studio in Malta, and in residence at the gallery. As part of the original Everfresh

Read More »
Mastering the Art of Puppetry: A Journey into Creativity and Collaboration
Art

Mastering the Art of Puppetry: A Journey into Creativity and Collaboration

In the whimsical realm where imagination intertwines with craftsmanship, one individual stands as a maestro, orchestrating a symphony of strings, clay, and creativity. Meet Zack Buchman, the visionary puppet designer whose passion for puppetry has transcended mere hobby, evolving into a lifelong pursuit of artistic excellence. Old Sea Dog, Custom

Read More »

Join our Community

ANASAEA is your leading partner connects you to the broadest possible audiences.

© 2024 All Rights Reserved by ANASAEA