In A Wicked Commerce: The US and the Atlantic Slave Trade through the Lens of William Earle Williams, the Philadelphia-area photographer examines the transatlantic slave trade and how the development, growth, and malevolent persistence of slavery intersects within Great Britain, the US, and the West Indies. These pictures uncover the infrastructures that fueled the Atlantic slave trade and positioned Britain and the US as industrial powers, simultaneously creating an institution that damaged innumerable lives and continues to persist in their physical and social landscapes. Using his camera to expose obscured and silenced histories, Williams intends to transform how everyday places are understood and experienced.
Nona Faustine: White Shoes presents seven large-scale photographs from the Brooklyn photographer’s acclaimed White Shoes series — a personal, provocative, and unflinching examination of the overlooked history of slavery in New York City. Over the last decade, Faustine has traced places around New York’s five boroughs where enslaved Africans were bought and sold, lived and died, and were buried. Through self-portraiture, she aims to powerfully insert her own body into these sites, standing in as a monument to the lives of the local Black and Indigenous populations and to the largely unacknowledged history of displacement and human trafficking that built the city.
Displayed in dialogue at Picker Art Gallery in Hamilton, New York, both exhibitions are on view until May 21.
Williams and Faustine will participate in a discussion with multimedia artist Deborah Jack and playwright Kyle Bass titled Re-Placing: Marking the Landscapes and Memories of Chattel Slavery on March 23 at 4:30pm (ET).
For more information, visit colgate.edu/picker.