Race has a defining impact on our identities and experiences and leaves a visceral impression on the body. Growing up in Minnesota, Leslie Barlow found her artmaking to be a place of refuge, dreaming, and survival–and one of the only sites to communicate nuancedly her Black and mixed-race experiences in the Midwest.

Barlow is interested in reimagining our relationship to our racial identities through healing our collective understanding of belonging. Her artwork serves as an exploration of how race entangles the intimate sphere of love, family, and friendship. The title of this exhibition comes from an essay on mixed-race identity by Maria P. P. Root, which asks us to consider the contradictions and questions that arise in a country going through an identity crisis layered with historical amnesia. How do we come to know ourselves? How do we see each other? Barlow’s work lives between the complexity and nuance of these questions, drawing inspiration from community conversations and personal experiences.

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