Un|Fixed Homeland, Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, 2016 Catalog: Un|Fixed Homeland - Page 12

Acknowledgments Grace Aneiza Ali, Curator The organization of this exhibition would not be possible without a beautiful spirit of collaboration and partnership among many. I am first indebted to the thirteen artists for their brilliance, belief in the endeavor, and incredible generosity in entrusting their work in service to the exhibition’s thesis. From the beginning, Victor L. Davson, founding director of Aljira and the visionary who commissioned this project, remained invaluable in seeing it transition from idea to reality. He kept the ship steadied and on course. Carl Hazlewood, co-founder of Aljira, never wavered in his investment of time, guidance, and exquisite art historical knowledge of Guyanese artists. I am equally grateful to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts whose gift of a Curatorial Fellowship meant that the research phase of this project was a fruitful and dynamic one. And I am indebted to Dexter Wimberly, executive director of Aljira and the entire staff whose labor and love for this project shine through the moment one enters its glorious space. I extend a special note of thanks to the scholars in the field of photography, art history, and cultural studies whose scholarship, support and enthusiasm elevated this project: Deborah Willis, Gaiutra Bahadur, Erin Haney, David Dabydeen, and Krista A. Thompson. For their commitment to excellence in how this exhibition was represented in language, design, and aesthetics, I am eternally grateful to editor Celeste Hamilton Dennis, catalog designer Karran Sahadeo, and exhibition designer Joey Rizzolo. 12 Karran Sahadeo Untitled (blue 2) (detail), 2014 24 x 34 in. Archival pigment print on canvas Courtesy of the artist I also wish to convey my deepest appreciation to friends and colleagues for their acts of generosity in seeing this project soar: Spencer Richards, Arlington Weithers, Brenda Locke, Michelle Joan Wilkinson, Zita Nunes, Indra Khanna, Christopher Cozier, Nalini Mohabir, Terrence Jennings, Alessandra BenedictyKokken, Maria del Pilar Kaladeen, Mason Richards, Nikki Kahn, Terrance McKnight, and Pato Hebert. Several institutions proved invaluable in their support of this project: Department of Art & Public Policy, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University; Independent Curator’s International; En Foco; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Institute for Research in African-American Studies and the Avery Art History Library at Columbia University; National Archives of Guyana; The National Archives United Kingdom; Hales Gallery; and The Canada Council for the Arts, Art Bank. It has been humbling to see this exhibition—the first of its kind—come to light and to be buoyed throughout its evolution by those in my life who beautifully model what it means to be in service to something larger: my mother Ingrid Ali, Theaster Gates, Kathy Engel, E. Ethelbert Miller, and the entire Ali family. And finally, to my homeland Guyana—a place that continues to nurture and demand from me so much more and better and higher. 13