States Of Being


Jul 06 – Aug 03, 2007
513 West 20th Street New York, NY 10011

Press Release


Curated by Odili Donald Odita

In The Color Line, my main point of investigation is the relationships these selected artists have in their line of aesthetic inquiry with Africa and its Diaspora, as well as with intellectual notions of black, white and color as formats utilized to signify race and culture. Furthermore, I want to look into the psychological condition of color as separate from, and in relation to the philosophical condition of black and white. This is not an exhibition about formalism in contemporary art, on the contrary, this is an exhibition about the specific, complex and rich ideas these artists are investigating within their individual practices that have a direct or remote relation to Africa. And in turn, I want to consider the complex conditions of African identity within a global context.


The term, 'Black and White', is normally understood as a basic pragmatic idea of clarity within thought, reasoning, and presentation. Black and white is also seen as an absolute in terms of value judgment. I want this exhibition to investigate this pretense and research in a deep way the metaphoric conditions black and white has within the human consciousness. I want to look into aspects of desire/desiring in relation to black and white. And I want to look into notions of 'the missing' (obviously color), and speak about this absences identifiable within these spaces. On a psychological level black and white will be examined here as a repository for the unfathomable, the unquenched and the unfinished. I want to address the tension of this incompleteness found in this type of pictorial space where the viewer fills in and becomes the void that exists between the polar extremes of black and white.

The Color Line will also look into the ever-persistent problematic condition of black and white as it deals with race,and what manifests as a continued imbalanced state of power between these two absolute value positions. This project will utilize the production of the exhibiting artist working in black and white to bring some insight into this aesthetic/socio-cultural problem.


The premise of color here is one of description. Color fills in the blank that is left open within a black and white format. Color describes the world in a more complex, if obvious way, and yet the specificity of color can make this newfound complexity that much more alluring and mysterious. Questions become even greater in a world of color as there seems to be more to see, and more to choose.

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