Sociologist Ruha Benjamin once said, “…imagine and craft the worlds you cannot live without, just as you dismantle the ones you cannot live within.” The exhibition In the Adjacent Possible responds to this suggestion to reenvision our world with a constellation of immersive installations by five artists, now on view at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, through March 26, 2023.

Artists Jessica Campbell, Yasmine K. Kasem, Suchitra Mattai, Haleigh Nickerson, and Nyugen E. Smith provide vantage points to view potentialities that lie just beyond what we know. Each conjures a world not quite here yet still within our grasp, with the intention of situating visitors in a space where they can dream of alternative ways of being in the world.

Jessica Campbell’s textile-lined room and cozy recliner provide a space for respite, where we can comfortably indulge in quiet contemplation. Yasmine K. Kasem creates a restorative sanctuary where prayer rugs with Quranic verses and sculptures of mythical Islamic creatures are portals to a world defined by love, healing, and compassion.

Suchitra Mattai mines memory and myth, bringing together materials rich with personal and cultural histories, to create works that unravel and reimagine Eurocentric colonial narratives. Haleigh Nickerson’s films create an immersive environment for contemplating the strenuous efforts of Black bodies striving for endurance through breath, life, and strength.

Through assembled sculptures and collaged works on paper, Nyugen E. Smith creates an imagined Pan-Caribbean structure to examine our shared and disparate understandings of history, power, and access.

Engaging issues of colonialism, feminism, queerness, identity, and stereotypes, In the Adjacent Possible explores the infinite opportunities at the boundaries of our reach and suggests ways we can reimagine the present. Some of them are just beyond the threshold of the next door.

The exhibition is part of Ways of Being, an Arts Center series exploring artists as world-builders.

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