The scholar and artist Saidya Hartman fills in the gaps of the historical archive, she told The New Yorker last year, by imagining “what might have been”—a blending of fact and fiction. Hartman’s work envisions agency where previous historians have erased it, and clarifies the present by keeping the past close at hand. In Australia, the artist Hayley Millar Baker, who is of Aboriginal descent, also seeks to upend colonial narratives. Her photographic series tell stories that intermingle her family’s past with both the present and an imagined future. Such a nonlinear approach demonstrates the continuity of Aboriginal life, which is normally considered a culture to be preserved, rather than one that continues to thrive and grow and change. In this exhibition five such photographic assemblages highlight Baker’s authorial power over the historical narrative, over memory, and over identity. —C.J.F.
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