In Bound to Appear Huey Copeland traces the late 1980s and early 1990s resurgence of aesthetic and intellectual endeavors that broached the transatlantic slave trade. Copeland’s inquiry rests on four installations from 1991 to 1993 by Renée Green, Glenn Ligon, Lorna Simpson, and Fred Wilson. Copeland cleverly mines the conceptual, generational, and contextual ties among these high-profile practitioners to assert that by evoking but refusing to visually portray enslaved black bodies in their installations, the artists redirected attention toward how this antebellum structure continues to inform viewers’ own contemporary experience. While shedding light on societal terms of enslavement and freedom, Bound to Appear offers a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives and timely, if demanding, theoretical applications.

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