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On February 1, 2019, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) will launch Colored People Time, a powerful, thought-provoking, and experimental presentation that re-envisions the traditional exhibition format to build new narratives and public discourse around the everyday experiences of black Americans.
Broken into three distinct chapters opening over the course of 2019 – Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, and Banal Presents – the year- long exhibition will offer a profound exploration into how the history of chattel slavery and colonialism in America not only shaped the foundations of our country but exists in our present moment and impacts our future. The title of the exhibition draws from the black vernacular phrase “Colored People Time” which has functions as a linguistic tool for people of color to control their own temporality even when placed within the construct of Western time. Conceived by Meg Onli, assistant curator at ICA, the format of Colored People Time will root itself within this malleable and fluid concept of time, enabling a new and responsive curatorial approach that will build on new ideas and discoveries from previous chapters, challenging the conventional exhibition structure.