Borrowing a term from DJ culture, “Remixing” describes WCMA curators’ process of selecting objects from the collection that highlight multivalent correspondences between form and meaning in art. Although we have chosen works from many chronological periods and geographical areas, the museum’s holdings are in perpetual transition as we acquire new objects and conduct new research. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic and demands for social reckoning influenced the works we chose and our interpretations of them. We also reflected upon what it means to display objects that entered the collection as a result of colonialism and missionary work, and to do so here in Lawrence Hall, which was built on Mohican land with the proceeds of enslaved Black labor.
Just as one song might be remixed by many DJs, each in their own style, this installation is iterative and the objects on view will change over time. We have provided a loose thematic framework so that you can construct your own meaning from the infinite ways objects resonate with each other and with the present. In this presentation, we have emphasized themes of hybridity, transcendent states, encounters with the divine, the resilience of nature, growth, domesticity, and healing.
—Exhibition curators Destinee Filmore, Jordan Horton, Nicholas Liou, Kevin M. Murphy, and Elizabeth Sandoval