selected projects > eliza's peculiar cabinet of curiosities

Scale models of cabin structure showing interior imagery.
Scale models of cabin for solo exhibition: Eliza's Peculiar Cabinet of Curiosities

My project, Eliza’s Peculiar Cabinet of Curiosities constructs a full-scale slave cabin as its central object in imagining what a 19th-century woman of African descent might have collected and stowed in her cabin as her own unique wunderkammer. The cabin, part of a long-term exhibition at the Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee, incorporates found and original objects, furniture and media with an Afro-Futurist vision that embodies a hopeful version of an African American future. The work challenges the perceived status of historical cabinets of wonder and presents a nuanced dimension of Black representation using Eliza’s collection to turn the tables on the Eurocentric gaze. It presents an alternate narrative that debunks romantic notions of plantation life as solely one of victimhood, to assert the Black imagination as an important element of self-determined agency and survival.