The Racial Imaginary Institute: Listening for the Unsaid

5130 W. Edgewood Pl. Los Angeles, CA 90019
Oct 21, 8 AM - 12 AM — ends Nov 18, 2020
David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to present Listening for the Unsaid, an online group exhibition curated by The Racial Imaginary Institute, featuring works by artists including Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Anaïs Duplan, Jon Henry, Nate Lewis, Azikiwe Mohammed, Public Assistants, and Kiyan Williams. The show will open at on Wednesday, October 21, 8:00 am Pacific Time, and will be on view through November 18, 2020. All proceeds will benefit the featured artists and The Racial Imaginary Institute.

Listening for the Unsaid brings together artists, activists, and writers who partake in the impossibility of reconstructing an archive, while still trying to archive the impossible. In Saidiya Hartman’s 1998 essay Venus in Two Acts, she argues that writing counter-histories / counter-archives is inseparable from a history of the present or the "incomplete project of freedom." How can we, as Hartman asks, "revisit the scene of subjection without replicating the grammar of violence?" Taking Hartman's words, "listening for the unsaid," as a framework, The Racial Imaginary Institute offers a response to these times of acute precarity by presenting the work of Black artists, at various stages in their careers, whose works contribute to an ongoing conversation surrounding the multitude of Black life. The exhibition also becomes a way to engage with a strategy for imagining and archiving new and varied historical narratives.

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.