Ada presents “The Ghost of White Presidents Yet to Come,” a new exhibition of works by Sedrick Chisom, a New York-based painter and writer.
Sedrick Chisom was born in Philadelphia and received a full scholarship to study at Cooper Union. Fascinated with thermal imagery and preoccupied by Christian iconography, Chisom conjures images that are both warm and chilling, akin to a pietà surveilled by a U.S. Army drone. Much of his work examines the ways in which Whiteness and Christianity have colonized the lives and sublimated the suffering of People of Color.
As its title indicates, “The Ghost of White Presidents Yet to Come” continues these themes. In these paintings, Chisom composes a sci-fi epic in which PoC have abandoned a dying Earth to explore the universe. As some of the remaining “wypipo” begin to develop darker pigmentation, their governments declare a state of emergency and send an expedition to the polar ice caps and Monument Valley in search of “Aryanness in other places.” Chisom’s ghostly figures float through a world of melting ice and societal decay that viewers may find hauntingly familiar. If the spectral landscapes and desperate faces – or postures, where there are no faces – don’t make it clear enough, Chisom has noted that these scenes are from “the final year of the Christian era.” It’s the end of the world, or at least the end of the world as “yts” know it.