As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic
On view June 17 through December 31, 2023
Explore Black identity through a compelling compilation of photographs from African diasporic culture. Drawn from Dr. Kenneth Montague’s Wedge Collection in Toronto, a Black-owned collection dedicated to artists of African descent, As We Rise looks at the myriad experiences of Black life through the lenses of community, identity and power.
Organized by Aperture, New York, the exhibition features more than 100 works by Black artists from Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain, the United States and South America, as well as throughout the African continent. Black subjects depicted by Black photographers are presented as they wish to be seen , recognizing the complex strength, beauty and vulnerability of Black life.
Texas Isaiah, Liz Johnson Artur, Seydou Keïta, Deana Lawson, Jamel Shabazz and Carrie Mae Weems, touch on themes of agency, beauty, joy, belonging, subjectivity and self-representation. Writings by Isolde Brielmaier, Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Mark Sealy, Teka Selman and Deborah Willis, among others, provide insight and commentary on this monumental collection.
Listen to the full playlist featured in the exhibition! Please note this contains explicit content and may not be suitable for children.
As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic is organized by Aperture and curated by Elliott Ramsey (Polygon Gallery, North Vancouver, Canada). This exhibition is made possible by the generosity of Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation. Additional support was provided by individuals who support the Exhibition Innovation Fund: Jennifer and Andrew Borggaard, James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, Chip and Susan Robie, Timothy T. Hilton, Kate and Ford O'Neil, and Henry and Callie Brauer. We also recognize the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.
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TOP IMAGE: Dawit L. Petros, Hadenbes (detail), 2005, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy the artist/Bradley Ertaskiran.
Collector and Curator Interview