The transparency of reality reflecting in art often represents a false tragedy in African American history because of the lack of preservation and representation due to a predominantly white dominion, ultimately leaving the veracity of their history to consign to oblivion. There is a common thread of forgetfulness with the retrieval of art in today’s society that embodies the African American community. Although artist Fred Wilson does not explicitly assert his assessment to the lack of black representation on account of cultural differences, he vocalizes how African American culture is indoctrinated to the public in a white, supremacist national narrative which labels misconceived notions of African culture. The purpose of historical museums is to teach visitors culture through historical truth. In spite of that, many art institutions have alternatively debased African American culture because of the founding board’s predominantly white background. To change the ideas curated by museums, Fred Wilson, an art activist, recontextualizes objects to highlight cultural differences through the utilization of installation framing. By juxtaposing Western imperialism’s flawed depiction of African culture to the authenticity of their traditions, Wilson confronts history and racial biases by recognizing the need to reveal and advocate the tragedy and truth of African American culture.
Sarkisian, Lana, "African American Culture in Historical Art Museums: Remembering a Buried Tragic Past" (2016). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 221.