M. Carmen Lane: (í:se) Be Our Guest/Stolen

March 12 - June 12, 2022

Dislocations disrupt family ties and rootedness to place. Familial histories become opaque and obscured. However, these ruptures can never completely sever our connections to place or family. We find clues and connections to lost histories—in family lore, archival documents, dreams, and in other subtle ways that bring meaning to the echoing of history and speak to its reverberating presence today. 

In much of their work, M. Carmen Lane draws from their experience as a two:spirit African American and Haudenosaunee (Mohawk/Tuscarora) to connect family events and history to broader narratives around intergenerational trauma and loss that are at the core of the “American experience.” Reflection on repeated displacements offers a way to uncover, recover, and heal from the many iterations of forced migrations and loss. It demonstrates how the ties that were damaged through violent processes of dispossession are never completely severed.

In this exhibition, Lane offers a meditation around home, family history, and relationship to place. We see a photograph of a smiling couple dressed to the nines, reproduced here using silkscreening processes. Lane exploits the repetition and layering made possible through printmaking to examine and consider variations (and continuities) as one moves from image to image. Personal objects belonging to the artist and the artist’s family accompany the prints, adding another dimension to the unfolding narrative.

— Mildred Beltré Martinez, Curator

The fugitive moves to discover a potential freedom, a place of safety—the experience of home. Here, Indigenous and Black bodies traverse place as a constant reminder to the other that the settler does not live in their rightful place. Our bodies are a threat, representing an inevitable future of liberation and non-interference. Paradoxically, contemporary frameworks that seek to make meaning out of displacement, land, and kinship loss obscure the complex violences that are hidden within constructs of race, class, and gendered histories. This work is an examination, through the personal histories of the artist’s Afro-Indigenous family, of the impact of Indigenous displacements, Black fugitive migrations, the accumulation of losses that blur the relationships between host/guest or settler/arrivant, and the unfinished business transmitted through intergenerational traumas of removal.

— M. Carmen Lane


March 31, Thursday, 7 p.m. — Artist Talk: M. Carmen Lane
May 14, Saturday, 5 p.m. — Celebration of Spring Exhibits


Virtual tour
Installation shots
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