Nine Moments for Now
About the Exhibition
The origins of “Nine Moments for Now” began gestating because of a question that was raised during the height of the national conversation on the deaths of Sandra Bland and Freddie Gray. It was a question that rose to the surface during the 2015 annual Hutchins Forum featuring speakers Charles F. Coleman Jr., Janaye Ingram, Orlando Watson, Dion Rabouin, DeRay Mckesson and trailblazer Charlayne Hunter-Gault. During the discussion, Mckesson poignantly admitted that the crucial challenge then was asking ourselves:
What does winning look like?
That was three years ago, and in the context of the astounding uncertainty of the Trump Age, Mckesson’s question still haunts me. It has stayed at the forefront of my mind precisely because I believe that our nation has become what political scientist Colin Crouch in 2000 deemed a “post-democracy”: a society that continues to have and to use all the institutions of democracy—congressional testimony is heard and elections are held—but in which they increasingly become a formal shell. In other words, what we currently might be living through is an era in which the democratic apparatus is still in place while its applications become progressively less effective.
In the wake of #BlackLivesMatter and #TimesUp, we hope that this exhibition enables us all to slow down long enough to remember that democracy, time and memory are as poetic, unruly and fragile as body and breath.
This exhibition is also an opportunity for storytelling and examining history, culture and the archive. In all transformative movements, artists, thinkers and writers have been at the forefront of creating meaningful responses to social engagement, civic discourse and political speech.
-Dell Marie Hamilton, Curator
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
Robert Abbott Sengstacke
Carl Van Vechten
Carrie Mae Weems
"There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now."
- James A. Baldwin
About the Curator
PHOTO COURTESY OF TERRENCE JENNINGS
Dell Marie Hamilton is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and independent curator whose artist talks, solo performances and collaborative projects have been presented to a wide variety of audiences in New York at Five Myles Gallery, Panoply Performance Lab, and MOCADA, as well as in the New England area at MIT, Boston University, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Holyoke College, the Museum of Fine Arts/Boston, the ICA/Boston, and the RISD Art Museum.
Working across performance, video, painting and photography Dell uses the body to investigate the social and geopolitical constructions of memory, gender, history and citizenship. Her scholarly presentations have been presented at conferences such as Black Portraitures: The Black Body in the West in 2013 and at Paris’s Musée Quai Branly, and at Black Portraitures II: Imaging the Black Body and Restaging Histories held in 2015 at New York University’s Villa La Pietra in Florence. With roots in Belize, Honduras and the Caribbean she has also frequently performed with her mentor Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons at the Peabody Essex Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
Dell has a B.A. in journalism from Northeastern University and completed her MFA from Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2012. A self-professed political junkie, she also served as a member of current Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh's campaign team in 2013. In 2019 Dell’s first solo show “All Languages Welcomed Here” will take place at Salem State University. To explore her work visit www.dellmhamilton.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @dellmhamilton.