An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, repeating until July 15, 2020
Promiseland is an exhibition of new and recent work by Charleston-based artist Fletcher Williams III. Showcasing large-scale works on paper, sculptures and installations, the exhibition presents the artist’s ongoing interpretation and disfiguration of the white picket fence – an emblem he defines as imbued with aspiration, idealism, social mobility and the American Dream.
The picket fence is an important character in Williams’ narratives as is its role in the practices and processes of his artistic production. Throughout the Aiken-Rhett House Museum, viewers will discover a combination of decorative, figurative and spatial representations of pickets that not only disrupt this historically complex symbol, but offer opportunities to reimagine the social and cultural landscapes of the American South. The exhibition commences with site-specific installations of pickets that appear as faceless figures alongside haunting video projections to engage spatial experiences and implications of movement throughout the site.
Williams also situates into prominent positions sculptures recalling Southern yard art and evoking the legacies of labor and the ingenuity of vernacular African-American craftsmanship. Nine large-scale works on paper inspiring the title of the exhibition Promiseland are layered into the interior with the largest – Eden – located at the end. Created by taking multiple rubbings of a single fence post and then painted with Spanish moss, these monochromatic and color saturated compositions present overlapping and intertwining white pickets in fictional landscapes. Several read as portals or gateways to unexplored utopias while others sit as unsettling fortifications. Together, they work to connect the physicality of natural and built environments with lived experiences as well as raise questions about boundaries and barriers and what we choose to protect and separate.