You can now find a new exhibit right here on campus at the Dorsky Museum. “Somewhere in Advance of Nowhere: Freedom Dreams in Contemporary Art” features art of all mediums from short films to sculptures.
With 18 contributing artists, the exhibit explores broken systems in our society and raises the question of how we could fix them. The name of the exhibit draws inspiration from the professor and writer, Robin D.G Kelly and his book “Freedom Dreams: Black Radical Imagination.” The book talks about the radical thoughts of intellectuals and artists such as Malcom X and C.L.R James.
When you step into the Dorsky, you immediately see the eye-catching work. There is a bright red sculpture in one corner, and you can hear videos by artists Cannupa Hanska Luger, Kordae Jatafa Henry, and Phoebe Boswell playing in the background. There is a leather biker jacket with political pins attached to it with sayings such as “Register, Brother” and “Free Angela” in reference to the imprisonment of activist Angela Davis.
On the walls of the museum there are paintings by artist Golden with bold words, fabric art, and photography that explores the “intersection of blackness, family and gender in America.”
There is even a hands-on piece called “The Black Schoolhouse Imagining: workshop and inspiration materials, 2021-22,” which invites visitors to put together their own vision of a schoolhouse with small paper buildings.
These pieces stimulate the thoughts of viewers’ creative utopias. It poses the questions: “What are we trying to change? What must be built and what must be knocked down to best advance our efforts? What wisdom can be borrowed from the past in charting new paths forward?” and, “How do we manifest bold futures envisioned by people of color amidst systemic imbalances in structural power?”
Its curator Nico Wheadon is an independent arts advisor and writer based in New Haven, CT. She also funded the bldg fund, LLC which is a “Black-owned production management company that commissions and cultivates place-based projects.” Weadon curates an innovative platform for BIPOC artwork and is “an advocate for Black and women artists in all endeavors.”
“Somewhere in Advance of Nowhere” combats the historical erasure and underrepresentation of marginalized people. It also focuses on the aspect of freedom, the idea of power dynamics and the intersection of race, gender, call, ability and ethnicity.
You can experience “Somewhere in Advance of Nowhere: Freedom Dreams in Contemporary Art” in the Dorsky Museum until April 10.