Frieze   |  June 04, 2021

‘Imagine Otherwise’ Shifts the Paradigm of Black Representation

In the majority-Black city of Cleveland, La Tanya S. Autry’s ambitious project holds space for unbound expression of Black life by rerouting visitors from moCa to the city’s Black-led cultural centres

High above the sun-filled atrium of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa), a phantom ship floats over still water, its sails illuminated by blue light and frenetic images: two men wrestling on the beach in a tangling embrace; a boy dancing ecstatically in a majorette uniform; Renty Taylor, an enslaved man, gazing from a daguerreotype. Animating the eddy is the sound of crashing waves and a recitation of Jaylen Strong’s poem ‘Memory’s Blood’ (2021).

The work is still waters run deep (2021), an installation by Pittsburgh-based artist Shikeith that, in both inhabiting and disrupting history, feels unmoored from time. The piece is the cynosure of moCa’s ‘Imagine Otherwise’, a multisite group exhibition curated by La Tanya S. Autry, which holds space for unbounded expressions of Black life. But moCa is the exhibition's point of genesis and departure: Autry had envisioned the show prior to her two-year Gund Foundation Curatorial Fellowship at moCa but expanded its footprint after whistle-blowing institutional racism as the museum’s first on-staff Black curator.

Continued here.

By Meghana Karnik and Claire Voon in Opinion, US Reviews

Original Article

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