Ancestors Known and Unknown

80 Box Works
Thu Aug 20, 1992 - Wed Sep 16, 1992

Ancestors Known and Unknown, which included more than 80 box works, communicated experiences of women artists of color in a culture that is often indifferent to or ignorant of their diverse heritages. A box was chosen as the format in which the artists defined their experiences. The box, a common object among all cultures, was a neutral and equally accessible format to all of the artists. The box works served as complex metaphors expressing histories deeply rooted in the United States and other homelands. They conveyed narratives of personal memories and experiences of displacement and survival in an adopted country. After struggling with their individual heritages, the artists successfully unveiled and articulated painful legacies of oppression that women of color have undergone and continue to undergo. The wide range of materials, including human hair, wire, cloth, bronze, encrusted earth, and photographic techniques, aided in representing the diversity of the artists’ histories.