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Equivalencies: Abandoned Bodies


  • Museum of the African Diaspora 685 Mission Street San Francisco, CA, 94105 United States (map)

Equivalencies: Abandoned Bodies thinks through the ways in which we remember people in relationship to their physical space and the objects associated with their bodies. This exhibition investigates how we remember the dead, asking us to contemplate the parallels between those who have passed and our enduring memories, as we take them with us in the future.

Multimedia artist, Andrew Wilson, uses the measurements from stowage system of the infamous slave ship Brookes, to creates what can be perceived as graves or plinths. In comparable scale and organization with the ship, each platform holds objects of the deceased – a sewing machine, bronze cotton boll husks, cowrie shell regalia, an American Empire chair, a pocket watch, human hair and crowns. Each item serves as a reminder of the departed individuals, and also elevates these mundane objects to a supernatural realm.

In addition to this display, Wilson presents a video installation that documents the cutting of his dreadlocks during the last critique of his MFA at UC Berkeley. There are many ways this can be read and is up to the interpretation of the viewer to place this spectacle.

Equivalencies: Abandoned Bodies aims to process through the slippage between life and death and honoring of the ephemeral objects left behind. In this way, this work eulogizes those who have passed and who walk with us today in spirit.