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Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And
Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is the first retrospective of one of the most significant contemporary figures working in performance, conceptual, and feminist art. Lorraine O’Grady replaces either/or ways of thinking with the endless loop of “both/and,” challenging the fixed positions of self and other, here and there, now and then, all while reflecting on the poignancy of lives lived within dualistic frameworks. The artist addresses her own experience as a person marked by racial hybridity―her family histories connect the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and the United States―who is nonetheless definitively a Black woman. Through her exploration of legacies of cultural interconnection and reciprocal influences, O’Grady sheds light on the ways Blackness has always existed at the heart of Western modernism. O’Grady’s radical revisionism of the 1980s and 1990s anticipated themes that have been embraced by a younger generation of artists and thinkers, inspiring them to resist and reshape a world structured by difference and inequity.
The exhibition features twelve of the major projects O’Grady has produced over her four-decade career and also debuts a much-anticipated new installation. The organization of the exhibition could be adapted by venues to present certain projects in conversation with works from other collections, if available, as the Brooklyn Museum has done, to showcase the artist’s long engagement with art historical omissions and institutional failings related to the creative agency of those excluded from the canon.
Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is organized by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, and writer Aruna D’Souza with Jenée-Daria Strand, Curatorial Assistant, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.