I Hear You Now, I See You Then was an exhibition of solo works by artist Quinn Alexandria Hunter, on view January 15 – February 28, 2021.
“The exhibition I Hear You Now, I See You Then serves to uncover, elevate and challenge the erasure of the labor of enslaved African American Women in the antebellum south from the contemporary architectural spaces and landscapes. These art objects refer to the luxury objects that were able to be purchased from the profit made from enslaved labor.
Each set of objects is tailored to a specific plantation home and site that is using erasure to profit from these places of historic pain. All the sites referenced here are presently used as wedding venues. It is only through erasure that such a happy event can be held in a space of such grand historic pain.
It is through my own labor and making that I am combating this trend. By using a material that is so ingrained and socially connected to the Black body to make these objects I am not only re-inscribing the history of enslaved labor back into these sites but connecting the historic Black body to the contemporary Black body.”
Quinn Alexandria Hunter is a sculptor and performance artist from North Carolina who completed her MFA work at Ohio University. She works primarily with hair and the African American female body as material. Quinn is interested in the erasure of history from spaces and how the contemporary uses of space impacts the way we as a culture see the past. Her work negotiates between the self and the world. Hunter’s practice is contending with the false narratives of a romanticized past and interrupting them by laying a truth next to them. Using hair weave, a material that is culturally, socially, and physically connected to the Black female body to make her objects, she is connecting the Black female labor and pain to a space and time that it is contemporarily being erased. Through making Hunter remembers them and is re-inscribing their labor back into place in the heart of Appalachia where the underground railroad once ran. Quinn is a recipient of the I. Hollis Parry/Ann Parry Billman Award (2019), The International Sculpture Center’s 2019 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture (2019) and a headline performer at the 2019 Pittsburgh International Performance Art Festival.
Watch the virtual opening with the artist:
Exhibition photo credit: Leah Trznadel