Waterscapes and Wet Bodies Through the Colonial Eye: West Africa, Hawai'i, and India Exhibit
Opening Reception: February 7, 2018 12:00pm -- 1:00pm. UC Merced Library, Room 362
When: February 7, 2018 -- May 7, 2018
Where: UC Merced Library, 3rd Floor Elevator Exhibit Space
Exhibition Curators: Aditi Chandra & Kevin Dawson
Digital Exhibition Curator: Rina Faletti
Water and wet bodies have been viewed in a variety of ways in different historical periods and geographies. This exhibit illustrates how people in West Africa, Hawai‘i, and India have, historically, understood water; incorporated it into designed landscapes, places of worship, and residence; grappled with its scarcity; and practiced sensual immersive cultural practices such as swimming, bathing, surfing, and ritualized blood sports with marine creatures. These traditions provided lives with meaning, purpose, and value and dignified nude and semi-nude human bodies as gifts from the creator. By contrast, European Colonialism viewed water as a dangerous space yet also promoted water as picturesque, consumable, and touristic in visual culture. This exhibition features a rich collection of original early modern and modern (ca. 1600 – 1940s) materials of visual culture, including newspapers, travelogues, paintings, photographs, prints, and postcards.
UC Merced Library, 3rd Floor Elevator Exhibit Space