Monday, September 25, 2023
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Interview with Kennedi Carter

Kennedi Carter, Heat of Night, 2018

How was the exhibition ‘A Meditation on the Untitled’ conceived? What projects does it bring together?

Kennedi Carter: ‘A Meditation on The Untitled’ is an exploration of the ways in which Blackness functions within the safety of our own communities, and the ways we go about remembering the moments we feel most free. The amorous moments between our grandfathers and grandmothers, The birth trauma of your aunty, a family scandal. These moments are touch points that connect us to our ancestors and elders, mirroring the contemporary landscape of Black life. This exhibition is an exercise on fabulation, acknowledging events that may or may not have occurred and how to bear witness to the pedigree that lies between narratives of our past relatives and the ecstatic Black experience.

There is power in something as simple as a name, what also accompanies power is pressure. When I was asked to put together an exhibition showing work that I have made from the beginning of my career up until now, I felt it was so overwhelming. Most of my early projects I was making without any true reason. When it came time to title the show, I was quite stumped. I was chatting with my father about an exhibition I held previously, in which none of the works were titled at all. He brought something very interesting to my attention. A lot of context comes from names, many folks become uncomfortable when anything doesn’t have a title or even an immediate reason for why something exists. I think that is often the case with the photos I make, I sometimes don’t know the reason behind their creation, until later on. Discovering the reason a work I created exists, is often part of my process.

Sage, 2019 © Kennedi Carter 

Aweng / Untitled, 2019 © Kennedi Carter 

Who are the protagonists of your portraits? 



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