I finally got the opportunity to begin crafting an exhibition proposal. While a few tweaks are inevitable, I do think the following is fairly consistent with my ultimate vision for the show. I hope that the artists I have in mind are open to participation, but I can't wait to see where time and circumstance lead...
ves·sel: a celebration of American History
History is the ship carrying living memories to the future.
- Sir Stephen Spender
To be sure, the beginnings of this experiment called the United States of America began on a vessel, ships- carrying adventurers and refugees, alike- each individual imagining a life different from before. This sense of impending difference was no more evident than in the case of enslaved Africans and their horrific journey across the seas…
There's a little bit of heaven in that muddy road to freedom | Follow the drinkin' gourd | Step by step keep a'travelin' on | Follow the drinkin' gourd
- American Folk Song
As Africans lent their bodies to the building of a nation, bloodlines fused and created a physical sense of American-ness that continues to be the product of human complexities. The drinking gourd was now more than a vessel; it was a road map to freedom. Black bodies, which were never simply vessels of work, became the possessors of dreams, intellect, desire and culture.
ves·sel is a fusion of both literal and metaphorical interpretations. Aptly represented by two dimensional, sculptural, and time based works, this exhibition is an attempt to acknowledge the history that is often obscured by the journey forward.
If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends; it simply means the river bends.
- John Enoch Powell
Not so random quotes:
“The ship that will not obey the helm will have to obey the rocks.”
- English Proverb
“Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.”
- Augustus Hare
“The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.”
- William Shakespeare