September 21, 2019—January 26, 2020
Franklin Street Works
Tactics of erasure can be used to uphold systems of oppression and colonization, but can also be counterpoints—artists can turn a subtractive act into an additive one, poke holes in the colonizer’s language and logic, and queer temporal spaces and histories. Otherwise Obscured: Erasure in Body and Text examines relationships between the erasure of text through redaction and illegibility and the erasure of bodies through policy, norms, and violence. The exhibition’s title riffs from a definition in poet Ángel García’s 2019 essay Lessons on Erasure, which considers the poetic consequences of erasure.
The group of intergenerational artists presented engage with a range of source material—including government legislation, museum catalogs, and archival photography—to create work in video, audio, performance, poetry, and other media. The works in the show blur distinctions between obscuring and revealing, showing how acts of erasure can subvert notions of authority.