In our last collaboration, we had a performance on the corner of 16th and Mission where we played the drums for about thirteen minutes. There were projections with these pointed questions behind us invoking people to reflect on land and the spatial politics that affect us all as women of color and how that reverberates through our individual and collective experiences. We asked “How did your people come here? Whose land are you on? What did you leave behind?” I think that is something we are trying to push through. We are also trying to break labels a bit. We’ve talked about how do we get shows where we say, we just make stuff in this intentioned space, but also leave less room to be so didactic. I think that is a problem with white institutions. They are so quick to label anything… So with this show we are curating, Visions into Infinite Archives, is where we want to have a little more room to expand on this work and bring more people into the fold.
Jose- How did Visions into Infinite Archives come about for Black Salt Collective and what are the intentions for the residency at SOMArts?
Grace- We were invited to apply. Through that process, from the first day we talked about it, I was like “Oh, we are going to have this installation where it’s going to be overwhelming.” I kept on using the word overwhelming. I imagined it being so many objects, so many voices, so many stories. We wanted to be very intentional about who we invited. In the show; we have elders, emerging artists, we got everyone there. With the title, Visions Into Infinite Archives, it’s more about abandoning the linear framework that is used to categorize the work from artists of color. Timelines give room for this really anthropological way of breaking down the work and compartmentalizing it. We have been doing this stuff forever and we are still doing it and people are still going to do it. That was the whole idea, presenting these people in conversation —something that felt inclusive, big, and also pulling so many artists we know on various levels... artists we admire, artists who are friends, artists who are mentors, but all work from this departure point of identity, people who want to be heard. I believe things need to be more visible, more open, and more honest; that is what is, what I feel is the strength of this massive show. We have 30 artists and performers total, all people of color who in the art world are often told they’re marginalized voices, but instead of giving them this space that is very literal, very bogged down, we just want it to be presented as an archive, a working breathing space, a map of this work, and the many dimensions it takes. It really is an intersection of so many people I am inspired by.
Opening reception featuring performances from Chochenyo activist and poet Vince Medina, Hermano Milagroso and jeepneys + SOME TIMES in direct dialogue with the exhibition and its themes, Thursday, January 14, 6–9pm (Free)
Film screening of short films and Bontoc Eulogy by Marlon E. Fuentes on Saturday, January 30, 12-4pm (Free)
Closing reception featuring live sets by special guest musician Ryan Dennison (Deadrezkids, Fort Wingate, NM), as well as Tropic Green (Adee Roberson), plus an all-vinyl DJ set by Bay Area favorite Brown Amy (Hard French, Natural High) Thursday, February 4, 6–9pm (Free)