In a new multiroom installation, artist Andrea Chung confronts the legacy and trauma of slavery from the perspective of an Afrofuturist utopia.
For this work, Chung activates the possibility of a new world, a “Black Atlantis” called Drexciya, to subvert the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. Drexciya is an underwater world populated by the amphibious offspring of women thrown from slave ships during the Middle Passage. It was conceived by the eponymous and enigmatic electronic music duo active in Detroit in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Chung’s installation is a meditation on the laws of Black physics. It highlights the ways Black people relate and respond to time and space in order to navigate a world full of dangerous and harmful systems. Within her evocation of this watery realm we can inhabit imagined pasts, presents, and futures to craft alternative realities forged by liberation, adaptation, resilience, defiance, and survival.
Image: Andrea Chung, Filthy Water Cannot Be Washed, 2017; cyanotype and watercolor; 88 x 240 in. Courtesy of the artist.