KHIRY Installation at John Hardy SoHo "Juneteenth to Infinity"
As we approached Juneteenth this year, we reflected on the meaning of the holiday, which commemorates the end of chattel slavery in the United States. It marks the day, more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, when in Galveston Union soldiers fully put down rebelling Texas Confederate soldiers who were fighting to preserve slavery.
History as it has been written often flattens the central role Black people have played in the process of democratization in American history and in our own liberation. Instead of thinking of this as a day to commemorate the supposed rescue of enslaved folks by policy or even military might at the hands of white folks, we instead took a moment to honor the 179,000 Black Union soldiers who comprised approximately 10% of the Union army, and to remember that we have always had a central role in creating our own freedom.
The folks at John gave us space to realize the vision that we had for Juneteenth. In the process we realized the largest scale artwork ever made by KHIRY Creative Director Jameel Mohammed, and to see that come to life was such an affirming moment for him and for the community of our supporters who turned out to see it brought to life.
The Juneteenth to Infinity installation was Jameel Mohamed's largest scale artwork to date, publicly debuting new mediums he's been experimenting with over the past year.