Edgar Arceneaux: Library of Black Lies
Tue Nov 27, 2018 – Sun Jun 2, 2019
Henry Art Gallery
University of Washington
15th Avenue NE and NE 41st Street
Seattle, WA 98195
This installation contains stacks of books, some readable and some obscured by a crust of crystalline sugar. The titles evolve like a game of telephone, slightly misheard and misrepresented, documenting tomes that figured strongly in Arceneaux’s intellectual history then evolving into invented or unrelated ones. A labyrinth—not a maze, which is designed to disorient—is circuitous but ultimately leads to a center, and is intended to be a vehicle of spirituality, a meditative journey mapped into the physical experience.
Arceneaux's work argues that the true nature of people and events, which is insistently messy, chaotic, and rhizomatic, is often whitewashed and sterilized. The plain wood exterior of Library of Black Lies is mute, minimalist, and seemingly a solid, singular object. Only upon discovering the entry can the “truths” it contains can be discovered.