“Untitled 28” by Sheila Pree Bright: August Collection Highlight
This spring, Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow Nailah Barnes co-curated the exhibition Off the Grid, on view on the Lower Level of the Wieland Pavilion until September 4. In this video, she discusses Sheila Pree Bright’s Untitled 28, from the Suburbia series (2007).
People are absent from Bright’s photograph, leaving the viewer to wonder who lives here and how the objects on display are related to their identities. The stylish midcentury shelving forms a gridded backdrop displaying books such as The End of Blackness and titles on Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso, as well as masks from continental Africa, establishing an air of worldliness and erudition. Bright intended for this scene to subvert the American media’s projection of the typical African American home. The rigid, carefully curated interior also raises questions about expectations of resilience and perfection in the Black community.
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