Press Release

“Seeing is forgetting the name of what one sees.” 

-Robert Irwin

"In this library, an executioner’s hook hangs above the stacks. The fiction section sits behind a heavy metal door. The view from the Children’s Section window is through bars, and the gallows rumble under the steps of students.

If my grandfather had not been chased from Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan, this library might have been a place he knew. It was built in 1901— fifteen years before he was born— to be the Noxubee County Jail. Nearly eighty years later— a few years before I was born— it was transformed into the Noxubee County Library. What carried through that century are the bars. What exists now is a surreal space, a literalized poetry stanza, an actualized picket sign. 

These drawings spring from this unusual place, and my unusual relationship to it. Had my grandfather not been a racial terror refugee, I may have grown up in this place doing my homework, reading books, seeing magicians, making friends, all under the hook. The surfaces, damaged and referencing sheetrock and architectural material, create a platform to learn: meticulous drawing with no more material than a schoolkid might have on hand: watercolor and graphite.

I believe drawing is an act of listening: to draw this space is to learn it. This exhibition represents the first small step toward hearing this space, and growing into it. " - Jordan Seaberry

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