Nan, Berlin, 1992, from the series Today I shall judge nothing that occurs: Ektachrome Archive, 2015-2016
Lyle Ashton Harris’ multimedia installation, Uma vez, uma vez [Once, Once] (2016), is comprised of Ektachrome images shot between 1986 and 1998, photographic prints from the artist’s journals, and diaristic video works – all excavated from the artist’s expansive archive. The resulting assemblage serves not only to memorialize, but also to evoke lived moments at the intersection of the personal as the political, presenting a dynamic experience that re-engages time past to affectively impact the present. Bearing witness to a period of seismic cultural shifts – the emergence of multicuturalism, the second wave of AIDS activism, and the intersections of the contemporary art scene with LGBTQ and African diasporic communities – the installation uniquely documents the artist’s personal life, friends, family and lovers, embedded in a pivotal social landscape. By documenting intimate moments alongside landmark events in USA (Black Popular Culture Conference in 1991, the truce between the Crips and the Bloods in 1992, Black Male exhibition in 1994, and the Black Nations / Queer Nations conference in 1995) the installation constructs collective and private narratives intertwined both with public events and the subjective realm, to discuss identity, desire, sexuality and loss.