Kapawani Kiwanga’s solo show Safe Passage was a superimposed arrangement of four sculptural works that at first seemed to echo the Minimalist oeuvre. In time, however, a different impression unfolded, and the works soon revealed themselves as repositories of complex and nuanced meaning. By degrees, an underscore built, thematically unifying the four pieces, which revealed Kiwanga’s approach for what it is: an expedition into forgotten and marginalized histories to expose what poet Claudia Rankine has called “the buildup of erasure” that is so common to lives ravaged by racism.2 

“At the core of the exhibition,” the wall text read, “is an engagement with racialized surveillance and the systems used in...

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