Tate Modern in London has just published a multimedia collaboration between Solange Knowles Ferguson and artist Carlota Guerrero, titled Seventy States (2017). The work, a stunning combination of a manifesto and poetry, videos and gifs, responds to an undated photograph of a young Betye Saar and the role the artist played in the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s, while addressing the themes of black womanhood and black identity.
The project is tied to the museum’s current survey “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” which looks at the contributions of black artists to the American art canon. That shows spans 20 years of history, beginning with the 1963 March on Washington, and includes work by Saar, Barkley L Hendricks, Benny Andrews, Norman Lewis, Noah Purifoy, Melvin Edwards, Alma Thomas, and Martin Puryear.
In an accompanying text, Solange writes, “There would be no hesitation should I be asked to describe myself today. I am a Black woman. A woman yes, but a Black woman first and last. Black womanhood has been at the root of my entire existence since birth.”