In a time of pandemic and protest, economic uncertainty, and political polarization the project What Has Been Will Be Again led Jared Ragland (American, born 1977) across more than 15,000 miles and 40 counties to survey Alabama’s cultural and physical landscape at this consequential moment. By tracing historic colonial routes with a particular focus on some of the state’s most rural and isolated areas, the project bears witness to generational racial, ecological, and economic injustice.
What Has Been Will Be Again illustrates a haunting yet tender look at the artist’s home state’s troublesome past and tenuous present while simultaneously suggesting a strategy for connecting with each other: by empathetically bearing witness to one another’s experience and acknowledging that we are indeed linked together––through shared stories and histories, across geography and time.
Above: Jared Ragland (American, born 1977), Spring Hill, Barbour County, Ala. Michael Farmer, 57, fashions a scarecrow next to his garden on Election Day (detail), 2020, Photograph courtesy of the artist
Above: Jared Ragland, Photograph courtesy of the artist.
By tracing historic colonial routes with a particular focus on some of the state’s most rural and isolated areas, this exhibition bears witness to generational racial, ecological, and economic injustice.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
This exhibition was made possible with the support of The Do Good Fund, the Magnum Foundation, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
Support for this exhibition was provided by lead sponsor Lamar. Additional support was provided by sponsors Mr. Will Hill Tankersley and Dr. Kristin Tankersley and co-sponsors AmeriFirst Bank; Balch & Bingham, LLP; Mr. and Mrs. Marvin H. Campbell II; Captrust; Ms. Camille Elebash-Hill and Mr. W. Inge Hill, Jr.; Mr. and Mrs. L. Daniel Morris, Jr.; Dr. and Mrs. Alfred J. Newman, Jr.; River Bank & Trust; Warren Averett, LLC, and Valley Bank.