From curator’s text: Rapunzel Revisited is “a surreal environment where ‘afri-futurism’, the aquatic world, and fairy tales meet, while also subversively flirting with representations of Black femininity, seduction, and repulsion and what constitutes a damsel-in-distress.” Rapunzel Revisited: An Afri-Sci-Fi Space Sea Siren Tale was commissioned as part of the 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work series at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, curated by Marjorie Sussman Visiting Curator Miesha Harris.
Text from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities is scripted onto the dark walls, the tale of Baucis and its inhabitants who live on stilts, peering at the world below from spyglasses. This separation—for protection, perhaps out of fear, perhaps something wondrous up there in the clouds—between earth and the figure is key; the installation deals in contradictions, welcoming and yet fairly treacherous as jellyfish are beautiful but may harm if you become entangled in their tentacles. There is the push-me-pull-you of navigating life as a Black woman. The pedestal keeps you safe but separate, as the figure peers down at the world below.
Review: Stabler, Bert. “Critics’ Picks 2006”, Top Ten Exhibitions of 2006, Best of Chicago Issue, Chicago Reader.