Race and Revolution: Home/Land

*The Home/Land online exhibition has been extended to December 13th 2020.

Saturday, 02/08/2020 through Sunday, 12/13/2020

Curator: Katie Fuller

Race and Revolution: Home/Land, is the fourth art exhibition in a series that confronts historical patterns of systemic racism in the United States.

Home/Land looks at the influence of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 on Lewis Latimer’s family, focusing on the tactics used to detain, deport, and re-enslave “runaways” with current practices used by Immigration Customs Enforcement to control the influx of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The exhibition pairs true stories of those who escaped or attempted to escape slavery in the years surrounding the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 with current experiences of families attempting to migrate to the United States with the hope of finding a home in the land of the free.

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Participating Artists:

Ann Lewis: Part of the immersive installation Never Again is Now this work harnesses the power of visual reflection to challenge American citizens to see their responsibility in the detention of refugees and children at our southern border. It also offers them a chance to leave a message to those detained indefinitely in sub-human conditions on American soil. The end goal of this work is to be smuggled into the detention centers to offer messages of support and love to the detained refugees.

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Jade Sacker: Zoila, an immigrant from Ecuador, has not seen her son in fifteen years. In her mind, she still imagines him as a four year old child. In the years that have passed since she left him with her mother in Cumbe, the small Ecuadorian village where she was raised, she has remarried and given birth to three American children who have never met their brother. The story is intended to create a portrait of South American migrant’s identity. To offer intimate insight into their sacrifices in a time of divisive rhetoric and misinformation about the motivations of those who risk their lives in search of the American Dream.

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Lorena MolinaBuilding a home out of dirt is part of the Nothing Hurts like Home Series, which explores my complicated relationship with homemaking as someone who has experienced displacement because of war. This work was influenced by my move to rural central NY as I simultaneously became a US citizen before the 2016 election. The landscape of Corn fields connected my homeland and Central New York. In the video, I enter the field to try to build a home. Because the dirt has been overworked, it is crumbly and unstable. My labor is repetitive, intensive, yet futile, as every home I try to build crumbles down. This act is a visual metaphor of my experience as an immigrant trying to build a home in the unwelcoming.

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Peter HoffmeisterScrub (Lewis Latimer House) is a site-responsive audio piece that uses The Star-Spangled Banner as its source. As a sonic structure that encourages patriotic and nationalist sentiment, the lyrics reference the American flag, an emblem meant to condense American-ness into a single abstract image, which further reinforces the symbolism of the song. I disassembled the triumphant presumptions of the anthem into a constellation of glitches and hiccups, achieved by digitally “scrubbing” the official U.S. Army recording of The Star-Spangled Banner. This is my attempt to disrupt the homogeneity and flattening effects of nationalism.

This piece can be accessed remotely by calling 929-277-1848.

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Sejin Park: In the face of ICE targeting the immigrant community, Comforts of Home uses embroidery as its medium, which is typically regarded as a domestic hobby. The text originates from Know Your Rights resources distributed by progressive non-profit organizations in order to raise awareness and empower the immigrant community. Though we assume that home should be a place of stability and comfort, the text on each embroidery hoop reminds us that many do not have the luxury of feeling safe in their homes. That luxury should be a basic human right, but cannot be afforded by the immigrant population who are subject to violence, intimidation, and forcible family separation and detention by our current administration. This crisis represents a regression back to the dire abuse of human rights in the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

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Sheridan MacKnight: I created, Carlise Girls, ink, gouache on archival watercolor paper, in 2018. My motivation was to paint the strength, endurance and resilience of my relations, the Native American. I was always reminded of the inhumane treatment of our people, be it the Reservation system or the Boarding school act of reformation. With this work, I bring attention to the history, but emphasize the strength of the subjects adorned with Eagle feathers. The symbolism of the feathers reflects the hope, but also the sacredness of a people, and the hope of future generations, to learn and reflect from the past, with a clear understanding of a new and positive culture, full of sacred beginnings.

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Sylvia Hernandez: Born in the Lower East Side and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Sylvia creates timeless, handcrafted works that address community and human rights issues. She teaches at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice and MS50, and she has worked with AgitArte, a social justice group that has led community educational and art programs in marginalized communities for almost 20 years. She has exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally.

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Tasha Douge: Tasha’s love for using analogies to convey messages is evident in her work. Women empowerment was the initial focal point, yet her work has quickly evolved to address the additional issues of social injustice, activism, racism and those that overall speak to the Black experience. Tasha continues to create provocative works that will elicit authentic, raw and at times, uncomfortable feelings. The aim is to use those feelings to spark open and honest conversations that will lead to change and furthermore, REFORM.

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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.