In its most ubiquitous form, “kinship” describes the bonds of a family, privileging connections born of biology and of blood. Close to You frames kinship within more fluid terms, centering relationships that exceed the limits of heteronormativity, government sanctions, and — in certain instances — even sociality. Instead, the artists in this exhibition prioritize queer, amorphous, and solitary forms of intimacy, acknowledging the affinities that we feel with people, places, materials, and histories. The works on view foreground feelings of recognition and rejuvenation that emerge within the deserts of the American Southwest, the warmth of bodily embrace, and the absence in an archive, among other conditions.
Close to You was organized during the earliest months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Opening a year into this crisis, the exhibition invites audiences to reflect upon kinship in the wake of loss — of life, of normalcy, of togetherness — with the hope of providing a space for respite and renewal, even if only for a moment.
The exhibition includes works by Laura Aguilar, Chloë Bass, Maren Hassinger, Eamon Ore-Giron, Clifford Prince King, and Kang Seung Lee.
Close to You is made possible by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in support of MASS MoCA and the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. The exhibition is curated by Nolan Jimbo, a graduate student in art history at Williams.
Clifford Prince King
Courtesy of the artist