“Cotton has a supercharged history for Black Americans specifically,” says Tschabalala Self, referring to the first word in the title of her new solo show. As for the second word, “I was thinking of the importance of oral history and diaspora as a way to carry lessons … to the next generation.” A Black American born in Harlem, Self makes bold collage works blending craft and fine art. The intended audience is other Black Americans. “The work exists in a vacuum of blackness,” she says, and is made to endow its viewers with agency over their own representation, a right withheld for centuries. —J.V.
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