I had the chance to attend the ICA during their performance night last Thursday. While I was impressed by the electronic band music performances that occurred, I was mesmerized and fascinated by the works that were in Cauleen’s Smith exhibition. In Cauleen’s exhibition we are taken into four different worlds: : Alice Coltrane and her ashram, a 1966 photo shoot by Bill Ray at Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers, Noah Purifoy and his desert assemblages, and black spiritualist Rebecca Cox Jackson and her Shaker community. Each of these exhibits were shown in different way such as objects, video, and sound but I was particular enamored by the black spiritualist Rebecca Cox Jackson and her Shaker community represented as avideo.
Rebecca Cox Jackson was an African-American free woman in the early nineteenth century who was best known for her religious activism and founding the first black Shaker community in Philadelphia. Through the video it showcases a world that is black, feminist, spiritual and unabashedly alive. In a time of American history where things may seem hopeless, this exhibit offers a refreshing new perspective of hope and ambition creating a liberating drive for a better world than what we have today.