This exhibition presents new commissioned works by sculptor and performance artist Doreen Lynette Garner.
Installation view: “Doreen Lynette Garner: REVOLTED,” 2022. New Museum, New York. Photo: Dario Lasagni
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Doreen Lynette Garner’s practice exposes the histories and enduring effects of racial violence in the United States through the frameworks of medicine and pathology by examining past and present examples of experimentation, malpractice, and exploitation enacted upon Black people. Drawing parallels to contemporary forms of displacement and neo-imperialism, her latest projects survey the forced spread of viruses and diseases to Indigenous lands in the Americas from Europe via the transatlantic slave trade and colonization.
“REVOLTED” is a visceral confrontation with the gruesome physical and spiritual consequences of the transatlantic slave trade and the multitude of inhumane tortures carried out in its name and in its aftermath. Garner’s intricate and mesmerizing sculptural objects—often comprised of silicone, insulation foam, glass, beads, crystals, pearls, synthetic hair, and other materials—uncannily evoke corporeal flesh, organs, and wounds. Proffering animal entrails and flesh bearing the marks of smallpox, scarlet fever, syphilis, and the bubonic plague, Garner presents a grotesque counternarrative to the myth of white racial purity that has been leveraged to uphold white supremacy.
Inspired by a 1773 uprising onboard the slave ship New Britannia, “REVOLTED” is also a meditation on rebellion, considering various modes of resistance from the era of the slave trade to today. The exhibition’s immersive, blood-red interior is a sensorial evocation of “seeing red,” the overwhelming urge to revolt against harmful systems, and the fortitude required to do so. This new project interrogates the abuse of power, the politics of redress and retribution, and ancestral revenge, imagining ways to act out a ritualistic catharsis of the persistent forms of violence Garner’s work exposes.
“Doreen Lynette Garner: REVOLTED” is curated by Vivian Crockett, Curator.