Press Release

David Kordansky Gallery presents Listening for the Unsaid, an online group exhibition curated by The Racial Imaginary Institute, featuring works by Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Anaïs Duplan, Nona Faustine, Jon Henry, Nate Lewis, Azikiwe Mohammed, Public Assistants, and Kiyan Williams. The show will be on view through November 18, 2020. All proceeds will benefit the featured artists and The Racial Imaginary Institute.

To access Listening for the Unsaid, please click here.

"The exhibition brings together a group of artists, activists, and writers who partake in the impossibility of reconstructing an archive, while trying to archive the impossible. Together, the works comprise a record that disorders, reroutes, and transgresses the protocols of the archive that Saidiya Hartman describes in her essay, 'Venus in Two Acts.' How can we, as Hartman asks, 'revisit the scene of subjection without replicating the grammar of violence?' How do artists adequately render precarious lives—specifically, Black lives—often made 'visible in the moment of their disappearance?' In this time of acute precarity, we felt renewed urgency to gather Black artists, at various stages in their careers, whose work renders the multitude of Black life and engages strategies for imagining counterhistories. If history remains bound to 'dead certainties...produced by terror,' these works gesture toward a mode of archiving that exceeds the limits of record and fact, producing instead a narrative track warped by the 'keens and howls and dirges' of the unsaid." — The Racial Imaginary Institute

Founded in 2016 by Claudia Rankine, The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII) seeks to change the way we imagine race in the U.S. and internationally by lifting up and connecting the work of artists, writers, knowledge-producers, and activists with audiences seeking thoughtful, innovative conversations and experiences. As they describe, "the work of defining and changing culture is all of ours." Institute members curating Listening for the Unsaid include Sara'o Bery, Samantha Ozer, Claudia Rankine, Michelle Phương Ting, Stephen Wilson, and Simon Wu. David Kordansky Gallery is honored to serve as a West Coast outpost for TRII and its interdisciplinary cultural laboratory.