Date: 10 Mar 2017 - 17 Jun 2017
Time: 17:00 - 17:00
Location: I meter I
LA VAUGHN BELLE – LEDGERS FROM A LOST KINGDOM
La Vaughn Belle’s exhibition Ledgers From a Lost Kingdom gives voice to Danish colonial impact on the people of the Virgin Islands. This solo-contribution was a part of the focus exhibition Unravelings marking the centennial of the sale of three Virgin Islands to the US.
There exists an extensive archive of transactional information about Denmark’s relations to its former colonies through documents, images and objects. However, since the sale of the Danish West Indies in 1917, most of this information was retrieved by Denmark, stored and archived far from the people of the now named US Virgin Islands.
The centenary has prompted the digitization of these archives, making them available for public consumption. Yet, when records have been inaccessible to a community for so long, other ways of creating collective memory takes over. Alternative accounts are formed through oral traditions, material culture and architecture that challenge some of the silence inherent in the colonial order of things as seen through its archival productions.
La Vaughn Belle’s work is a way of adding to the records by creating counter-narratives. She uses the framework of a ledger to challenge the objective authority of the archive by both adding her own subjectivity as well as documenting the agency of the subjects these archives portray. Similarly she looks at how the architecture of the Virgin Islands can be seen as a physical trace of the ways in which people constructed and negotiated their identities and spaces of freedom.