The aspirations of language often leave words skirting around the edges of emotions, grasping at their depth. What fuels the demand to decipher as a measure of value or the foundation of understanding? This exhibition disturbs the expectations from artworks and artists to “demonstrate,” “elucidate,” or ‘’bear witness’’ to the fraught conditions of our world. Amid multiple ways of knowing and forms of communication, not everything has to be given or shared.

The artists gathered here circumvent and interrogate the expectations placed on them by overdetermined categories (race, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, geography), reorienting towards the self and those with shared experiences. In doing so, they complicate histories of past and present genocide, logics of anti-Blackness and settler colonialism, and gesture to concealed structures of control, including those imposed by the State, the law, and the archive. Through practices of withholding and self-articulation, they interrupt linear narratives using forms of coded communication, experimenting with strategies of obscurity and material form while affirming the poetics of mythmaking and fiction and underscoring the fragility of subjecthood. 

As curators, we reckon with the urge to respond to the pervasive and gratuitous violence that is foundational to the world we live in and extends to the history of exhibition-making. Holding these tensions, we suspend the need to comprehend to consider alternative social and political modes.