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Concord Art Presents (un)seen

Press Release

Beginning Thursday, June 17, Concord Art presents (un)seen curated by Keith Morris Washington, an exhibition composed of sound and video installations by Rashin Fahandej, site-specific drawings by Lyssa Palu-ay, photographs by Stephen Tourlentes, and large-scale paintings by Keith Morris Washington. It will be on view through August 15, 2021. (un)seen unites four artists work- ing in disparate media to create an immersive, visual and auditory experience.

Lyssa Palu-ay writes
: “The conversations with and between Keith, Rashin, Steve and I are a longawaited, if partial, antidote to the unimaginable personal and collective grief we have experienced during the racial and global health pandemics of the last year.

Keith’s paintings confront the layers of trauma in the North American landscape, pockmarked by lynchings. While contempo- rary lynchings often elicit memorials, Keith’s work is often the only gesture memorializing the places and honoring the victims in these specific locations. He creates monuments of color with a keen attention to the play of light.

Where Keith confronts the past, Steve interrogates the present in his photographs of penitentiaries. The nighttime palette creates an elusive visual description, one in which even the distanced perspective is powerfully charged. Perhaps the distance, like the darkness and the walls, cannot contain the experienc- es that want our notice.

Rashin adds a layer of tenderness to our conversation. Her work reminds us of the power of storytelling and of a shared longing for connection in the Father’s Lullaby. Rashin suspends time to create unapol- ogetically, intimate sound and visual portraits. She also places a mirror on the racial disparities in the criminal justice system that echo those in Keith and Steve’s work. This is a history that seems to repeat on command.

I entered this conversation in early April, when Keith asked if I wanted to make work, rather than writing for this exhibit. In the aftermath of the murders in Atlanta of eight women of Asian descent, I grasped more fully my invisibility and hypervisibility as an Asian American woman of Filipino ancestry. It did not matter my level of education, my status as a U.S. citizen, my job, my being a daughter, a mother, a part- ner, a sister, or a friend. I am (un)seen.

My work is to walk the grounds of this grief. I have created a drawing pilgrimage to accompany and acknowledge this shattering. I excavate a layer below the surface of Keith and Steve’s landscapes. And I hear the songs from Rashin’s portraits as I dig deeper. Perhaps underlying all of our questions is a search to make sense of a mourning. Ross Gay captures the sentiment of this conversation for me:

What if we joined our sorrows, I’m saying.
I’m saying: What if that is joy?”


June 17 - August 15

37 Lexington Rd
Concord, MA 01742
Tues-Sat 11a-4p Sun 12p-4p

(un)seen, installation view

About Concord Art:

Concord Center for the Visual Arts was founded a century ago by Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts, an Amer- ican Impressionist and philanthropist whose mission—to promote and advance the visual arts and artists, and to sustain our cultural community—still stands today. With more than 850 members, Concord Art provides a place for contemporary art exhibitions, art education and relevant programming for everyone.


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