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A Nation Takes Place

A Nation Takes Place

Navigating Race and Water in Contemporary Art

Edited by Tia-Simone Gardner and Shana M. Griffin

Artistic perspectives on the connections between water and nation, sovereignty and ecology

144 Pages, 8 x 11 in

  • Hardcover
  • 9781517918927
  • Published: September 3, 2024
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A Nation Takes Place

Navigating Race and Water in Contemporary Art

Edited by Tia-Simone Gardner and Shana M. Griffin

ISBN: 9781517918927

Publication date: September 3rd, 2024

144 Pages

33 black & white Illustrations, 25 color plates

11 x 8

Artistic perspectives on the connections between water and nation, sovereignty and ecology

Neither the metaphorical birth of a nation nor its actual violent formation is a one-time event. It is a process. A process of erasing, naming, and unnaming. Settling and unsettling. Extracting, dispossessing, and disappearing—a process of taking and placemaking. It is a tool of conquest, unthinkable without waterways, voyages, slave ships, and hemispheric maps of colonial and imperial demarcation. A companion to the exhibition A Nation Takes Place at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, this catalog examines how artists bring critical attention to the “liquid fantasies” of the sea and navigate race and the violent silences, voids, ruptures, breaks, and counterworld formations unattended by the visuality of traditional maritime art, pushing the boundaries of what marine art is and can become.

Situating archival images, artworks, and texts within the visual convention of maritime art, this collection interrogates ways that the imaginaries of seafaring are tethered to the lethal technologies of enslavement, colonialism, genocide, dispossession, and extraction. A Nation Takes Place: Navigating Race and Water in Contemporary Art pairs contemporary artworks with their historical antecedents, representing how the maritime world remains with us as a romantic notion, a space of haunting, a capitalist playground, a violent terrain, a site of resistance, and a place to rethink the ecological imaginary.

Artists: Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, Katrina Andry, Radcliffe Bailey, kai lumumba barrow, Dawoud Bey, Willie Birch, Imani Jacqueline Brown, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Peter Happel Christian, Wesley Clark, Gordon Coons, Allan Rohan Crite, Aaron Douglas, Torkwase Dyson, Sokari Ekine, Claire Foster-Burnett, Shana M. griffin, Monica Moses Haller, Li(sa E.) Harris, Sky Hopinka, Deborah Jack, William H. Johnson, Jacob Armstead Lawrence, Pam Lombardi, Elana Mann, Nicholas Eustache Maurin, Kent Monkman, Edward Moran, Martin Payton, Juan Carlos Quintana, Calida Rawles, Renee Royale, Dread Scott, Dameun Strange, Kara Walker, Wendy S. Walters, Dyani White Hawk, Fred Wilson.

Contributors: Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Jessica Marie Johnson, Tiffany Lethabo King, Katherine McKittrick, Brenda Maria Osbey, Erin Sharkey.

Distributed for the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

Tia-Simone Gardner is an artist and assistant professor of media and cultural studies at Macalester College.

Shana M. griffin is an independent scholar, artist, and founder of PUNCTUATE.