Peju Alatise, Flying Girls (2016).

A group exhibition of 12 regional, national, and international contemporary artists, Familiar Boundaries. Infinite Possibilities draws from themes that question society’s obsession with tradition, policing, consumption, and indulgence. The artists include Peju Alatise, Nakeya Brown, Lizania Cruz, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Njena Surae Jarvis, Tsedaye Makonnen, Tajh Rust, Shikeith, Kevin Snipes, Vaughn Spann, Stephen Towns, and Tunde Wey.

This exhibition spans space and time, across continents and from deep pasts to imagined futures. The artists challenge cultural hierarchies, refute the Western gaze, address social and environmental issues, and investigate the histories of the Black body as a source of labor. The exhibit offers the North American premiere of Flying Girls by Nigerian artist Peju Alatise, which debuted at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

From spirituals to stargazing, the gesture of fugitivity has a protracted history for Black Americans. Regardless of the ability to read or write, enslaved Black people decoded the stars for knowledge of liberation and engineered inventive lyrics to communicate freedom across generations.

The multifarious works shown by these artists reflect the continuous breaking of past and present constraints, unmediated by colonialism. Their work repudiates the destructive nature of heteropatriarchy and offers an infinite range of powerful alternatives to light the way to a just and healthy future.

Familiar Boundaries. Infinite Possibilities is curated by Kilolo Luckett and continues at the August Wilson Cultural Center (960 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh) through March 24, 2019.