11 November - 25 March
Sasha Huber explores how colonial histories are imprinted into the landscape through naming and acts of remembrance – asking what actions it might take to repair the inherited traumas of history.
YOU NAME IT brings together over a decade of Huber’s work, prompted by the campaign Demounting Louis Agassiz. Initiated in 2007 by Swiss historian and activist Hans Fässler, the campaign seeks to redress the legacy of the Swiss-born glaciologist and racist Louis Agassiz (1807–1873). His scientific contributions to the fields of glaciology, palaeontology and geology resulted in over 80 landmarks bearing his name on Earth, the Moon, and Mars. Less well known, however, was Agassiz’s legacy of ‘scientific’ racism, and how he used his position to actively promote the subjugation, exploitation, and segregation of Black people and other people of colour. He commissioned J.T. Zealy (1812-1893) to photograph enslaved people on the Edgehill plantation in South Carolina in March of 1850, using the technology of photography to further his eugenics campaign.
At the heart of this exhibition is Tailoring Freedom, including portraits of Renty and Delia Taylor, an enslaved Congolese father and daughter whose portraits were forcibly taken by Zealy and used by Agassiz. Huber reproduced Zealy’s daguerreotypes onto wood and used her signature staple gun method to ‘dress’ Renty in a suit inspired by Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), and Delia in a clothing inspired by Harriet Tubman (1849–1913), honouring the contributions of both abolitionists. These works are shown alongside Huber’s video, photography, performance and research unearthing Agissiz’s racist legacy, and efforts to remove his name from a mountain in the Swiss Alps and replace it with Renty’s – one of the goals of the Demounting Louis Agassiz campaign.
Get a start on your holiday shopping at Autograph. Our acclaimed exhibition Sasha Huber: YOU NAME IT will be open until 9 pm at this special Thursday Late, alongside exclusive offers at our holiday book and print sale – plus a complimentary drink.
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