(ir)Reverent Futures is a meditation on the methodologies of Global Black survival through which we recognize, care for, and project ourselves and our power into the future.
This period has been one of profound loss. Through that, what we have gained is ourselves, clarity on our essential and singular position through the acknowledgement and disavowal of white supremacist structures and the violences they enact upon our psyche, our bodies, and potential. All over the world we have answered our own calls for justice, for protection. The truth is we always have. In the face of obstacles seen and unseen, people of African-descent have insisted on survival, innovation and joy. Today. Yesterday. For millennia.
This exhibition has been delayed a number of times over the last months. At the time of its initial conception, the United States had seemingly finally begun a period of very public reckoning with and reflection on the long shadow of white supremacy. Without spending too much time stating the obvious, as the 2020 U.S. Presidential election approached, there was an entirely different battle surging. By all accounts, no matter which side of the proverbial aisle one sat on, this election was yet another battle waged for the soul of the nation, but I had a sense that Black life needed a new way forward regardless of the outcome. Beyond the result of the election, what is the commitment to the work which remains to ensure freedom and justice for Black people ? How do we activate our communities toward a relationship with multiple Black selves that exist? What does it look like? What would it feel like to immerse ourselves in the waist-high waters of change?
In these unprecedented, and yet exceedingly familiar times, the works in (ir)Reverent Futures are a coda to the self-referential strategies - of civic engagement, of healing, of protection, of global community building - that support not just the survival but thriving of Black people. It is a navigation out of turmoil caused by external oppositional forces railing against a world that recognizes it for the pox it is. It is the Black Diaspora moving in unity to a place of reflection, full self-acceptance, toward self-determination and a reverence to ourselves.