Silence Unseen features work by Katayoun Bahrami and Trina Michelle Robinson, members of CCA’s MFA Class of 2022. Using film, photography, installation, and other media, these artists explore their shared struggle to inhabit two worlds. Pulled in different directions by their respective familial histories or cultural traditions, their works suggest ways of locating oneself within that space of tension.
Language serves as a point of departure for both artists as they seek to create or add to archives, filling in gaps where voices have been suppressed. When viewed together, Robinson and Bahrami’s works highlight the power and privilege of having one’s name or ideas recorded for posterity. By taking the act of record-keeping into their own hands, they uplift the silenced and reclaim their own familial and cultural legacies, fashioning their own identities and personal histories in the process.
These artists’ explorations of often invisible but prevalent struggles echo with a particular resonance in 2021, at a time when the rights of many minority groups are under long-overdue scrutiny, especially in the United States. Through their varied practices, Robinson and Bahrami draw attention to unjust inheritances that may not always be visible in 21st century America, but which impact millions of lives every day.
This exhibition is part of a two-part series featuring work by CCA students focused on the intersections of identity formation and cultural or family history. To view the companion exhibition, Familiar Faces, click here.
Above image: Trina Michelle Robinson, Great Migration, Segregated Train Station, 1921, Video Still from The Call, 2017. Archival image courtesy State Archives of Florida.