Dreamscapes: Imaginings of a Black Pastoral points toward a queer, liberatory space for reconsidering both the historical and contemporary relationship between Black Americans and non-urban landscapes. It is a joyful ode and a tender offering. It is a celebration of all the ways in which Black Americans have forged fondness for the landscapes they have come to know and forgive, without forgetting.
Featuring work from contemporary artists Jada-Amina, Namir Fearce, Derrick Woods-Morrow, Shala Miller, POETIK, R. Treshawn Williamson, and Tavon Taylor, Dreamscapes: Imaginings of a Black Pastoral offers a dreamspace for the reimagining of contemporary Black American life and The South post-plantation. This group exhibition invites viewers to think deeply, and carefully, about Black being in America beyond prescribed urbanity.
The participating artists render their imaginings through video, collage, photography, drawing, sound. Their work highlights the overlooked nuances of Black American life, legacy, and lineage — pulling apart misconceptions of Black rurality, indigeneity, and Southerness while pointing toward the endless possibilities of Earth-bound salvation. Surreal renderings of rural landscapes and Black beings in play and repose stir a wide range of sensations — romance and realness; sentimentality and sadness; ease and discontent.
Dreamscapes: Imaginings of a Black Pastoral is curated by writer, curator, and cultural worker Anisa Olufemi; 2021 CONNECT Curator in Residence.