Adler Guerrier, “Conditions and Forms for blck Longevity,” at California African American Museum. The Haitian artist is the subject of a solo exhibition at the museum that explores the nature of domestic gardens and other outdoor spaces as mini-utopias. This project looks at spaces in Miami and L.A. where black life takes place in sheltered, protected ways.
Adler Guerrier (b. 1975, Port-au- Prince) is best known for his work in photography and printmaking that explores the poetics and politics of place. He examines the public space of the street as a site for civil discourse and disobedience and the more private realm of the home and yard as places for meditative observation and reverie—addressing both as political spheres. Guerrier’s new project for CAAM continues his investigation of history’s relationship to landscape, picturing what the artist has described as the “limited utopias” enacted within domestic gardens, outdoor spaces, and private yards. In photographs, prints, and drawings, Guerrier offers quiet, subjective observations of the landscapes of Los Angeles and Miami, the artist’s hometown. Guerrier explores how both of these 20th-century cities resonate with their early promises of sunshine, space, and self-determination, even as they remain subject to unfulfilled historical demands for prosperity, justice, and civil rights. Capturing the lush sweetness of these places, Guerrier proposes, as the title suggests, intimate conditions and forms for black life and longevity. For this project the artist has returned to the moniker for a fictive radical activist group of his own devising—blck—which suggests the critical role imaginaries play in giving shape to the space of liberation. His dreamy works of contemporary landscape offer glimpses into a notion of black utopia that is ephemeral, personal, and grounded.
This exhibition is organized by independent curator Diana Nawi. Adler Guerrier: Conditions and Forms for blck Longevity is generously supported by ArtCenter/South Florida. This exhibition is also supported by David Castillo Gallery, Miami.
Through Sunday. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.Adler Guerrier (b. 1975, Port-au- Prince). Untitled (Deployed conditionally and sunsetted; Underground), 2017. Archival pigment print. 16 x 20 inches. Courtesy the artist and David Castillo Gallery, Miami.