What did it mean for Black identity and ritual when six million Black Southerners left their rural residences for the urban Midwest, Northeast and West beginning in 1910? Artist Nate Young has crafted an answer with his new virtual exhibition The Transcendence of Time.

Hosted by Chicago’s Monique Meloche Gallery and open through June 26, 2020, the work explores his great-grandfather’s move from the South to the North during the Great Migration. It makes use of excavated bones that are thought to be from the horse on which his ancestor rode. Secret, coded messages are built into each of the bones. The exhibit also features a collection of wooden altars; each includes text that recounts his great-grandfather’s journey and conflicts.

Photo: Courtesy of the Nate Young and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago. RCH Photography.Installation view of Nate Young’s The Transcendence of Time.


“The past, present and future exist within the work, challenging and transcending linear boundaries by examining the complicated relationship between the bones and their origins, suggesting their continued existence across multiple planes of time,” said Young in a statement. “There is a metaphysical proof of informational loops that suggests the potential to unlock and actualize the past and the future, through the assured knowledge of the bone’s existence within the here and now.”

The art is on display through June 27, see it online via the Monique Meloche Gallery.