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On View | In Place of an Index

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In Place of an Index is a group exhibition featuring 12 artists native to or currently living and working in Texas. The exhibition is produced and presented in conjunction with the 2021 Texas Biennial exhibition, A New Landscape, A Possible Horizon. The exhibition is a curatorial collaboration between Max Fields and Texas Biennial curators Ryan N. Dennis and Evan Garza.

In Place of an Index addresses historical narratives from a position of potentiality, rather than construct or add to a timeline, archive, or index of history and experience. Featured artists situate personal and political narratives outside of fixed contexts, and their work suggests that historical narratives are fluid, and can be revisited, rewritten, and reimagined. Featured artists’ respective practices address historical documentation and narrativization from the perspective of what Ariella Azoulay calls potential history, “[the] effort to make history impossible and to engage with the world from a non-progressive approach, to engage with the outcome of imperial violence as if it is taking place here and now.”[1] The exhibition title, In Place of an Index, refers to Azoulay’s notion of potentiality, suggesting an alternative to an index of time, space, and experience that exists in opposition to a dominant ideology and forms of hegemonic narrativization. Through various photographic means, each of the featured artists use or make references to archives or archival images and histories, and in doing so invite or create new meaning, potentiality, and relations to contemporary media and culture.

Participating artists: Regina Agu, Travis Boyer, Tay Butler, Ja’Tovia Gary, Ryan Hawk, Autumn Knight, Baseera Khan, Annette Lawrence, Adam Marnie and Aura Rosenberg, Stephanie Concepcion Ramirez, Kara Springer

[1] Azoulay, Ariella Aïsha, Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019), 312.

Image: Ja'Tovia Gary, "THE GIVERNY SUITE" (stills/details), 2019. Film, 39:56 minutes. Three-channel installation, stereo sound, HD and SD video footage, color/black & white. 1920 x 1080, 16:9 aspect ratio, dimensions variable. Edition of 5, +2 APs. Courtesy of the artist.