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Sep 13–Dec 22, 2019

Colored People Time: Banal Presents

Carlos Fuentes, Remember the Future, 1985.
About

“For a writer does but conjugate the tenses and ten – sions of time through verbal means, and his scope is dismally reduced if [they]… must keep step with the indiscriminant rush towards the future, disregarding the only fullness in time: the presents, where we remember and where we imagine.”

— Carlos Fuentes, “Remember the Future” (1985)

Banal Presents is the third and final chapter in the exhibition series Colored People Time and stages a conversation between the artists Carolyn Lazard, Cameron Rowland, and Sable Elyse Smith. The artists in this exhibition — and we, as viewers — occupy a current moment haunted by what the Professor Saidiya Hartman has termed the “afterlife” of slavery. This “afterlife” names the enduring presence of slavery’s racialized violence that permeates every aspect of our society. Banal Presents locates the present as the space where we bend the relationship between the past and the future. The present, in all of its fleetingness, is where we act.

Colored People Time, structured as an experimental exhibition in three chapters — Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, and Banal Presents — unfolds over the course of 2019.

— Meg Onli, Assistant Curator

Support

Major support for Colored People Time: Banal Presents has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Additional support has been provided by Dorothy & Martin Bandier, Arthur Cohen & Daryl Otte, Cheri & Steven Friedman, and Brett & Daniel Sundheim.
                                                                               

Installation Views
Thu, Oct 24, 2019, 7PM–9PM
Performance: SCRAAATCH Presents TOWER OF BABEL
Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 1PM–2PM
Pennsight Drop-In Tour led by Kyle Whiting
Sat, Oct 19, 2019, 3PM–4:30PM
Panel: Enacting Entanglements
Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 12PM–2PM
Transcribez Writing Workshop
Books & Editions
Over the year of 2019, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania presented the experimental exhibition Colored People Time. Organized by Meg Onli and divided into three distinct chapters–Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, and Banal Presents–the exhibition used the black vernacular phrase “Colored People’s Time” (CPT) to explore the ways that dominant notions of time have been used to control and condemn black people across times and spaces. CPT names a political performance by black people to evade, frustrate, and ridicule the enforcement of punctuality and productivity, key disciplinary structures of capitalism. In addition, CPT challenges and disavows the predominant opinion that being “on time” is the only way of being “in time.” The artists represented within this exhibition include: Aria Dean, Kevin Jerome Everson, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Carolyn Lazard, Dave McKenzie, Cameron Rowland, Sable Elyse Smith, and Martine Syms; accompanied by historical objects from the Black Panther Party, Sutton E. Griggs, the National Institutes of Health/Getty Images, and the African Collection at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. 
Doubling as a reader on the phrase that inspired the exhibition, Colored People Time includes reprints of seminal essays, newly commissioned writing, poetry, and a performance score ready to be activated in a time to come. This catalog includes text from Huey Copeland, Eve Ewing, Michael Hanchard, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Amber Rose Johnson, Carolyn Lazard, Jessica Lynne, Tausif Noor, Meg Onli, Gregory Pardlo, M. NourbeSe Philip, Monique Scott, Martine Syms, and Michelle M. Wright.
Dimensions
7 x 10 inches
ISBN
978-0-88454-149-3
Pages
320
Binding
Flexibound
Publisher
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania
Year
2020
$40.00
ISBN 978-0-88454-149-3
Publication Date
2020
Authors
Huey Copeland, Eve Ewing, Michael Hanchard, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Amber Rose Johnson, Carolyn Lazard, Jessica Lynne, Tausif Noor, Meg Onli, Gregory Pardlo, M. NourbeSe Philip, Monique Scott, Martine Syms, and Michelle M. Wright.
Designer
Studio Ella
Authors
Huey Copeland, Eve Ewing, Michael Hanchard, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Amber Rose Johnson, Carolyn Lazard, Jessica Lynne, Tausif Noor, Meg Onli, Gregory Pardlo, M. NourbeSe Philip, Monique Scott, Martine Syms, and Michelle M. Wright.
Publisher
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania
Price
$40.00
Programming at ICA has been made possible in part by the Emily and Jerry Spiegel Fund to Support Contemporary Culture and Visual Arts and the Lise Spiegel Wilks and Jeffrey Wilks Family Foundation, and by Hilarie L. & Mitchell Morgan.