Lina Iris Viktor: A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred.



Lina Iris Viktor: A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred. explores a mythicized history of the West African nation. Established as an act of American “altruism” following the abolition of slavery, the Republic of Liberia appears as an uneasy utopia, both a paradise lost and a cautionary tale on the pathology of colonization. Central to Viktor’s gilded portraits is the Libyan Sibyll – from the Latin sibylla meaning prophetess – an ancient figure of fate and foresight, later invoked by eighteenth-century abolitionists as the predictor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Across the series, Viktor’s soothsayer navigates an evocative landscape which references modern and traditional West African textile culture, contemporary African portrait photography, and the national iconography of both Liberia and the United States. In resurrecting a long-forgotten history collective to Liberia and the antebellum United States, A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred. embodies the artist’s enduring interest in transforming perceived absences into sources of light … and life.

The exhibition was on view from October 5, 2018 to January 6, 2019.


Additional information

Weight 1.2 lbs
Dimensions 11 × 8.75 × 0.5 in

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