April 22–May 21
Elvira Clayton: Ritual Cloths
A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Ritual Cloths, an exhibition by 2022–2023 Fellow Elvira Clayton. The exhibition will include a group of textile-based works, a small installation, a sound piece, and a performance by Clayton on the exhibition’s opening night. This is Clayton’s first solo show in New York City.
Ritual Cloths is a textile-based series and part of Clayton’s ongoing project Cotton and Rice. The project explores the largest recorded slave auction in U.S. history by paying homage to the people sold through the auction. While researching the project at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Clayton came across one of the auction’s original printed catalogs. A staff member generously gave her a digital copy. She considers her catalog copy a treasured, serendipitous find, and it significantly informs the Ritual Cloths series.
Anchored in historical research, much of Clayton’s practice responds to the lives of people who lived under American slavery. She mines slave-related archive collections and documents to uncover hidden histories and stories that she brings to light through her work. Clayton says, “Through this process, I am honoring my own enslaved ancestors.”
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