Necromancy at SoEx: ‘Moving Clouds’ summons the once-thought-dead

Saturday, March 02, 2024

Press coverage publication: 

48 Hills


The current exhibition at Southern Exposure, Moving Clouds, includes artists like Cliff Hengst, Heesoo Kwon, Saif Azzuz, Melissa Lewis Wong (Deuce Lee), Umico Niwa, Jes Young, and yétúndé olagbaju. The write up for the show calls them “a gathering of necromancers, ancestor callers, and those unafraid to call upon that which was proclaimed dead and over, but in fact has been fully alive and permeating every aspect of our worlds and beings.” 

Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ vivid memoir The Man Who Could Move Clouds inspired curator Cathy Lu to name the show: It recounts Contreras’ experience losing her memory for a time after a head injury and wanting to learn about her family. 

“Her grandfather was a curandero, so he was known for his magical abilities, which were passed on to her mother, but it was always something they were taught to be ashamed of because of its relationship to indigenous culture,” Lu said. (Rojas Contreras will read at the gallery on Thursday, March 7, 2024)

“The book was about her coming to terms with family history and the political history of colonialism, so I just thought how powerful it was her being able to channel this history to move herself and her family forward in a way.  I thought that was a perfect way to think about the themes in the show about necromancy and challenging those ideas that are bringing up the past and in a way that empowers us instead of holds us back.”

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Press coverage author: 

Emily Wilson