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Tracing Fragments

14 January, 202330 April, 2023

Through acts of stitching, sculpting, weaving, fragmenting, painting, and recording, Natalie Ball, Abdullah Qureshi, Sasha Huber, Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola, Hugo Llanes, and Inuuteq Storch reclaim historical methods of handicraft, documentation, representation, and archiving. Their works digest certain generational histories with a delicate yet deliberate touch, marked by a tender sentimentality that critically unpacks stories of colonization, slavery, racism, suppression, and dispossession, religious persecution, and queerness. The physical-ness of their materials (fabric, the camera, a touch of the hands, the body) mark the works with a cathartic embrace, Huber, Qureshi, Akinbola, Lllanes, Ball, and Storch examine how we process our personal histories, our genealogy, our nationhood, our sexuality, and our heritage. Their practices complicate notions of identity and the act of identification, revealing the complexities behind the understanding that where we come from informs our personhood.

Each is informed by their unique relations to family, ancestry, trauma, memory, loss, amnesia, and storytelling, and how this implicates their artistic processes. The artists of Tracing Fragments examine the complicated histories behind colonial and racial violence, repossessing terms like power and victimhood. Realizing the brown, indigenous, and queer body on their own terms, Huber, Qureshi, Akinbola, Lllanes, Ball, and Storch reimagine what forms this body and history can take.

In their distinct practices, the artists of Tracing Fragments appropriate a certain colonial visual memory as a way to reassemble potential histories and rewrite narratives of oppression and dispossession. By revealing the complex legacies of dissociated, violent, and dispossessed experiences, Huber, Qureshi, Akinbola, Lllanes, Ball, and Storch provide potential tools for emancipation and possibilities of healing. Through subverting the dominant gaze on brown, indigenous, and queer subjects, they do the work of recasting perceptions.

As a result of this reclamation, their historical methods of photography, sewing, sculpting, painting, and archival work are transformed through their subjective perspectives, resulting in a work that is intimate yet challenging, delicately hopeful yet powerfully subversive.

Curator: Daría Sól Andrews