Could you speak about the inspiration for this body of work – what lead you to reimagine and evoke the experience of traveiing the Underground Railroad through photographs?
“Night Coming Tenderly, Black was commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, where it was shown for the first time in a site specific installation in St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is a significant Underground Railroad related site in Cleveland.
“Because the work was to be exhibited initially in Cleveland, I wanted to make work that related and responded directly to the region while also continuing the exploration and engagement with African American history that I began with The Birmingham Project in 2013. The exhibition of the work at the Art Institute of Chicago marks the first time they are being exhibited in a museum setting.
“While the project is not a literal documentation of Underground Railroad sites, but a reimagining of that landscape, I did want to photograph in proximity to where some of those sites are believed to have been, and occasionally where some of those sites–such as the past location of John Brown’s saddlery–were known to have existed.
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