Charisse Pearlina Weston: of [a] tomorrow: lighter than air, stronger than whiskey, cheaper than dust.

October 2, 2022
March 5, 2023
Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Building, Queens, NY 11368
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of [a] tomorrow: lighter than air, stronger than whiskey, cheaper thandust is Charisse Pearlina Weston’s first solo museum presentation. Theartist’s practice considers and mines Black tactics of refusal which sustainBlack life in the face of persistent anti-Black violence. Through the use ofvarious techniques of withholding, repetition, and enfoldment intermingled withpoetic, historical, and autobiographical interventions, Weston’s ambitious newwork reimagines and posits Black interior life as a central site of Blackresistance. For this exhibition, Weston continues her artistic investigationinto the material and symbolic uses of glass within architecture, media, andsurveillance which reinscribe anti-Black violence. The works utilize glass,canvas, concrete, lead, text, and photographs pulled from various sources andarchives, including the Queens Museum’s permanent collection.

The complexspatial and socio-political histories of the site upon which the Museum andFlushing Meadows Corona Park are situated act as the conceptual framework ofthe exhibition:

On April 4, 1964,the Brooklyn and Bronx branches of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), ledby Brooklyn chairman Isaiah Brunson, announced their intent to stall hundredsof cars along the access roads and highways leading to the much anticipated1964-65 New York World’s Fair, located on the grounds of what is now the Museumand Corona Park. This proposed gesture of resistance, meant to represent theways in which white supremacy prohibits Black life, was met with immediate,widespread backlash from media outlets, government officials, and other civilrights activists. Then NYC Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. declared the activistshad placed “a gun to the heart of the city.” Although the stall-in never tookplace as conceived, CORE was successful in disrupting, even if onlytemporarily, the fair and the city’s psychological landscape: the tens ofthousands of would-be fairgoers who had come “to the world of fantasy” wereinstead made to “[encounter] the world of fact.” (NYC Police CommissionerMurphy quoted in Tomorrow-Land:The 1964-65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America by JosephTirella)


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