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July 21 – October 1, 2020
View this exhibition at behance.net
Future Antebellum (2017) is a continuation of Shawn Theodore’s Afromythological works, established in his seminal museum exhibition Church of Broken Pieces (2016). Theodore’s unique aesthetic is derived from his street photography practice, which focuses on the epidemic of vanishing Black neighbourhoods in America, specifically the psychological and spiritual trauma that is left behind in these gentrified spaces.
The world that Future Antebellum inhabits imagines a mythological America after a prolonged siege on its Black citizens. The negative effects of the American Empire on the African-American spiritual world lay bare the connection between ancestor and descendant. In these images, ancestors who are usually unseen are now adorned in their clothes and robes and are of the blackest melanin hues. We can see the connections and conversations between families and bear witness to their interventions on the living. Their summits discuss shared power in this Afro-dystopian yet safe space. Shot entirely at the historic Freedom Theater in Philadelphia, Future Antebellum is an examination of the mundane moments within a Black supernatural, super-spiritual world.
– Shawn Theodore