Art

Billy Gerard Frank: Eulogies & Palimpsests

February 5, 2023 - April 23, 2023
Photo of a young African American man standing, holding a yellow flower, wearing a white long sleeve shirt with purple paint dripping down his face onto the shirt

About The Art

“Most of us know the parents or grandparents we come from. But we go back and back, forever; we go back all of us to the very beginning; in our blood and bone and brain, we carry the memories of thousand of beings […] we cannot understand all the traits we have inherited. Sometimes we can be strangers to ourselves.”
-V. S. Naipaul

Eulogies and Palimpsests explore two bodies of works (film installations paintings & assemblages, photographs, and film stills) by the New York based Multi-disciplinary artist Billy Gerard Frank, born in Grenada West Indies. The bodies of works were exhibited in La Biennale di Venezi 2019 and the most recent Biennale (2022) in the Grenada National Pavilion.

Frank’s research-based works interrogates autobiographical memory, issues of migration, race, exile, and global politics relating to gender, minority status, and post-colonial subjects, challenging normative discourses around them.

Second Eulogy: Mind The Gap is an autobiographical de-construction and re-positioning of memories from his father’s life— memories to which he gives a voice by de-contextualizing and de-constructing the mythologies and legacies of generation of exile and estrangement. The film and other works in the exhibition sketches multiple evocative vignettes, forms, and possibilities of narratives that ruminate on themes of exile, migration, colonialism, and sexuality.

Palimpsest: Tales Spun From Sea And Memories narrates overlaying tales; fragments of a life and man: Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, born in the Gold Coast (Ghana) in the Fante village of Agimaque. Cugoano was one the most radical and central African British opponents to have actively engaged in the fight against slavery in the eighteenth century, England. His book Thoughts and Sentiments On The Evil Of Slavery, published in England after he gained his freedom, is one of the most direct criticisms of slavery by a writer of African descent

“Billy Gerard Frank is an artist of remarkable reputation. Among his many accomplishments are the inclusion of his work in the prestigious Venice Biennale. It is a challenge to classify his work because it moves in many different directions at once. One thing for sure is that innovation is key. Much of his success is dependent upon his understanding of the traditional photographic image, which, in combination with imagery drawn from films that have powerful narratives, makes for great artistry.”
Dr. Louis Zona, Director Of The Butler

This exhibition is underwritten in part by Drs. John Dunne and Jenifer Lloyd.

CATEGORIES: Exhibition

DATE: February 5, 2023 - April 23, 2023

LOCATION: Beecher Center Flad Galleries

RECEPTION:February 5, 2023, from 1‐3pm

Selected Works

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