Part of a CONTACT Photography exhibition, Nowing: A Political History of the Present presented by Patel-Brown gallery.
Nowing is an exhibition of photographs and sculptures that work across time to find, examine, and name “political histories of the present” and imagine how we might contend with these histories today.
Caring for each other in the wake of unwavering grief and fear, caused both by COVID-19 and by racial violence, demands an undeniable confrontation with the fragility of an inherited capital and colonial structure that continues to fail. How do we reckon with something that is still happening? How do we create out of and in the midst of it?
Through a note-taking, newspaper-archiving method, a nowing is prompted, an active refusal to look away from today. Borrowed from Fred Moten’s article black optimism/black operation, his proposition of “a political history of the present” asks that we see time differently, implying that there is perhaps something to be confronted. Jordan’s nowing suggests that something is required of us in the present moment, so that tomorrow will look different.
In her practice, Jordan works with the spaces between historical archives, with speculative futures, and with what she sees every day. Her work sources pathways to understanding how and where on our bodies histories live. It is an obsession with what she calls “a haunting.” Over the past six years, her work has contended with these questions, trying to make sense of the role this “haunting” plays in our lives. It is a question she continues to ask of Black people, and more recently, of the spaces in which they live.