News Release

Artists Dominique White and Alberta Whittle Explore Aqueous Legacies of Transatlantic Colonialism and Envision Black Feminist Futures in New Exhibition at ICA Philadelphia

December 14, 2023
Philadelphia, PA
L: Dominique White, Can We be Known Without Being Hunted, 2022. Installation view of Cinders of the Wreck, at Triangle – Astérides, Marseille, FR, 2022. Courtesy the artist, Triangle–Astérides and Veda. Photo by Aurélien Mole.   R: Installation view, Alberta Whittle: between a whisper and a cry. Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, June 10 – September 10, 2023. Photo: Jeff McLane/ICA LA.

On view this spring at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA), Dominique White and Alberta Whittle: Sargasso Sea explores the impact of transatlantic colonial legacies on contemporary understandings of power, race, gender, and geography. The exhibition takes its name from the natural phenomenon of the Sargasso Sea, the only body of water defined by oceanic currents rather than shorelines. The body of water and how it conjures questions of migration and Black feminist theory serves as a conceptual link between White and Whittle’s work, shown here for the first time together. Through monumental oceanic-inspired sculptures, paintings, and videos, White and Whittle investigate the dualities of the sea’s transformative powers, as a site that disrupted colonial voyages as well as a metaphorical place of regeneration.

Organized by the ICA and curated by Daniella Rose King, Dominique White and Alberta Whittle: Sargasso Sea is on view from February 10 through July 7, 2024. The exhibition marks King’s third exhibition at ICA, two of which were conceived and mounted during her Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellowship at ICA from 2017 to 2020.

“We are honored to bring Daniella Rose King back to ICA to complete a trilogy of conceptually linked curatorial investigations that she began during her ICA fellowship,” remarks Zoë Ryan, Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director. “This type of sustained investment in innovative and ambitious work perfectly aligns with ICA’s mission to serve as a launchpad for new art and ideas, one which supports both artists and curators alike. The Whitney-Lauder Fellowship has been important in realizing this part of our mission, as it provides emerging professionals access to the art world and opportunities to grow as curators.

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