OCAD University Open Research Repository

Timing Diaspora, Diasporic Art in Two Acts: Examining Black and Caribbean Diasporic Temporality

Shaw, Madalyn K. (2024) Timing Diaspora, Diasporic Art in Two Acts: Examining Black and Caribbean Diasporic Temporality. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Shaw, Madalyn K.

This MRP explores the temporal dynamics of Black and Caribbean diasporic art through two independent chapters. The first chapter focuses on the work of the Black Quantum Futurism (BQF) Collective, a multidisciplinary creative enterprise founded in 2014 in Philadelphia, PA, by musician and poet Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) and community activist and housing lawyer Rasheedah Phillips. Through their self-publications and creative manifestos, the BQF Collective investigates applications of Afrofuturist theory, quantum mechanics, and Indigenous African theories of time to the production of community, Black, queer, and womanist futures. This chapter interrogates BQF theory and practice as a potent tool for challenging conventional Western timelines and time consciousness, offering avenues for the creation of alternative temporalities and temporal liberation for Black individuals. Particular attention is given to the application of BQF theory in the Black Quantum Futurism Collective’s Time Zone Protocols project and Prime Meridian Unconference. Here, I argue that BQF theory delineates a visionary and retrospective philosophy with a chronopolitically urgent practice.

The second chapter presents an examination of three exhibitions of Caribbean diasporic art that took place in and around Toronto, Ontario within the last three years. These include Fragments of Epic Memory (2021-2022) at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Kept Alive Within Us (2023) at the Art Gallery of Guelph (AGG), and Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art, 1950s–Now (2023-2024) at the Art Gallery of Ontario. In this chapter, I contend that the curatorial organization of Fragments, Kept Alive Within Us, and Life Between Islands positions the artworks in relation to a diasporic perspective, specifically as a result of the exhibitions’ temporal framing. Time and temporality denote underexamined areas of diasporic and Caribbean (diasporic) art history, even though time and temporality intertwine with all facets and determinates of cultural identity. For diasporic individuals, this relationship to time is doubly mediated due to what I identify as a “diasporic temporality,” which results from the interpolation of two incommensurable cultural time-spaces—that of the host land and that of the homeland. In this way, diaspora may be characterized as a spatial and temporal condition. By recognizing diaspora as a temporal and spatial condition, (characterized by the experience of “dwelling-in-dischronotopicality”), I underscore the complexity of diasporic experience and the necessity of a pluri-temporal approach to holistically assessing diasporic art. Later, I also examine the implications and limitations of positioning non-diasporic art under a diasporic temporality.

Date: 7 May 2024
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories
Date Deposited: 07 May 2024 17:14
Last Modified: 07 May 2024 17:14
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4450

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