Reclamation is a strategic framework. Reclamation is an action (to reclaim) and a goal (to have reclaimed). Reclamation has present and future potential but its very being implies a history: “RE-” claim, a reassertion of autonomy, a process of claiming something back. Reclamation can be a physical process related to objects or land, a financial process, or a social process.
A “Claim” is a right, a being of ownership, or a statement; to “reclaim” is to take back the right, take back ownership, or restate. Reclamation is land being returned to its original state, such as a landfill returning to forest. Reclamation is taking a pejorative phrase, and taking ownership of it, taking claim of its power. Reclamation is financial redress. Reclamation is taking back political representation in a republic whose leaders fail to serve the people. Reclamation is repairing broken objects and returning their dignity through purpose. Reclamation is returning to the old gods, reviving old traditions.
“To Reclaim” is an exhibition featuring six artists whose work “reclaims” in some form, be it reclamation of material, reclamation of a symbol, reclamation of history, or reclamation of conceptual power.
Willie Cole, Genevieve Gaignard, Deborah Kass, Mary Sibande, and Stan Squirewell.