Detroit, MI, USA
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Swan Song features the individual and collaborative work of Halima Afi Cassells and Shanna Merola, combining their photo-based collages alongside sculpture and installation. This exhibition examines the cause and effects of colonization, resource extraction, climate crisis, and corporate domination. While Merola’s dystopian landscapes seem fractured beyond repair by free market deregulation, Cassells work manifests the collective liberation of both people and land from the grip of white heteropatriarchal systems of oppression.
The swan is a recurring figure, both aesthetically and metaphorically. As an archetype and motif, the graceful creature holds multiple meanings handed down through the centuries and across different cultures. According to ancient Greek mythology, the silent swan sings a beautiful song just before death. As we stand on the precipice of collapse, in the wake of a new paradigm shift, can we also learn to experience beauty and joy amidst the terror?