November 03


Fabiola Jean-Louis’s most recent series, Rewriting History, is an inquiry into social change, asking how much has society really changed since the beginning of slavery? In this haunting photographic essay, Jean-Louis has created paper sculptures styled to mimic garments worn by female European nobility between the 15th – 19th centuries. The series speaks to the shocking treatment of Blacks throughout history and the trauma inflicted on their bodies as juxtaposed with the abstract idea of Black freedom. Simultaneously, it engages with a vision of the future – one of hope, strength, resilience, and beauty. The materials used for the paper gown sculptures are transformed in a way that allows her to represent layers of time and the events of the past as they intrude upon the present. Through the materials, she suggests that although we cannot change the past, we can act to change the present as we activate the memories, visions, and legacies of our ancestors. 

Rewriting History seeks to reconnect viewers to the past so that parallels with current events are amplified.

TEXT: Courtesy of Alan Avery Art Company