Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s "The Beautyful Ones" Series #5, 2016, belongs to an ongoing series of portraits of the artist’s family members. The title of the series, “The Beautyful Ones,” is borrowed from the 1968 novel The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ghanaian writer Ayi Kwei Armah. The subject of this particular image is Akunyili Crosby’s mother as a young student, smiling as she sits on what is presumably the stoop of a school. The artist presents an intimate portrait of aspiration and female accomplishment across generations, and an affirmation of the transformative power of education.
Over the course of her career, Teresa Margolles has invented ways to represent the consequences of violence and corruption. Taking Ciudad Juárez as a case study, she archives, collects, and catalogues imagery, sounds, testimonies, and objects that can give insight into the realities and traumas of this border town. The photographic series Esta finca no será demolida presents buildings in varied states of abandonment and ruin. Margolles began the project as a way of documenting the buildings before they were demolished. In a very direct way, she shows the ways in which prolonged violence affects citizens’ ability to continue to run businesses or carry on with their everyday lives.
Kara Walker was commissioned to create a work for the 2018 New Orleans–based triennial Prospect. Titled after the Haitian Creole word for “catastrophe,” Katastwóf Karavan takes the form of a wagon-mounted, 32-note, fully functioning steam calliope. The Albright-Knox’s work, The Katastwóf Karavan (maquette), 2017, is an editioned sculpture Walker created after the maquette for this work. It features scaled-down versions of the silhouettes that surround the boisterous calliope. Drawing on the imagery of the Antebellum South, Walker highlights the legacy of the subjugation of African-American lives.