UNTILL’s curatorial statement begins,
“I came, I saw, I conquered,” wrote Julius Caesar to the Roman Senate. The Roman people considered him a hero, as much as the Bosporan Kingdom saw him as the stranger come to destroy. But history remembers Caesar’s words more than it remembers the Bosporan Kingdom, and it remembers Caesar’s words because we have his letter. Power in part is the ability to dictate what perspectives are recorded, preserved, and disseminated for perpetuity. The duality of Hero/Stranger necessitates this question then: how does one recover the stories lost to power and conquest?
As you probably know, Jarrett and Jon are twins (!!! WE KNOW. WE ARE SHOOK TOO!) from rural Alabama. Like many black families, the stories of their ancestors were never recorded in written form. The stories travelled instead as secrets, orally passed down through generations until they became the secrets filling the graves of their kin. In UNTILL, Jarrett and Jon mark their endeavor to recreate the lost stories of their immediate family as well as those ancestral histories that were consigned to the oblivion of the Middle Passage. Through their work, they arrive in the past (1619–1953), the present (1954–2018), and the future as strangers excavating answers to understand their own history.
UNTILL marks the first exhibition exclusively featuring work by the Key Twins’. Part family history project, part artistic exploration and discovery, UNTILL dispels the notion of a black monolith, by showing how twins preserve, process and perpetuate their family chronicle in ways that are radically different. Through their own ancestral exploration, the Key Twins offer an account of the common lived experience of young, black, queer folks existing in 2018 America.
About The Key Twins
Jarrett and Jon a.k.a. “The Key Twins” were born in rural Seale, Alabama. We received our formative education in Providence, RI: Jon attending RISD, and Jarrett at Brown University. Since moving to New York, we have worked individually and collaboratively to cultivate and expand our Queer Black voices. Jon integrates his design & art practice with multi-disciplinary narrative works and installations. Jarrett is a multidisciplinary artist, who investigates the relationship between traditional visual art and performance practices. Our work has been featured in performances, publications, exhibitions, and workshops including Angell Gallery Toronto, 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts MGLC Ljubljana, Fierman Gallery, MoCADA Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The American Theater Wing/Circle in the Square on Broadway, NYU Tisch, California College of Art, Yale University, Shanghai Theater Academy, and Lebanon American University. Our work and collaborations led to the co-founding of CODIFY ART, a Brooklyn based QTPOC Arts Collective with other artist, dancers, and writers. Our mission is to create, produce, and showcase work that foregrounds the voices of people of color, particularly those of women, and queer people of color.