Engine in partnership with Maine Center for Electronic Music (MCEM) will present an exhibition by Portland based installation artist Hi Tiger. The lead and founding artist of MCEM, Hi Tiger’s work in drawing, painting, sculpture and video extends from their experience of being a descendant of freed slaves. The exhibition The Slave Liberation Project is being presented on Juneteenth (observed on June 19, 1865), the approximate day that the last slaves were told in Texas that they were free according to the Emancipation Proclamation which went into effect two and a half years earlier on January 1, 1863. The show features work from The Test, a series of large scale portraits on cardboard that refer to the “paper bag test” from a time when you could be no darker than one to gain access or be considered beautiful. Interspersed throughout the portraits are miniature human cut-outs that represent the bodies once packed into slave ships, bodies that are here reimagined as free.
As part of Biddeford’s June 19th Friday Art Walk, Hi Tiger will take up residency in the space with live DJ set where visitors can enter the space 10 at a time where Hi Tiger will be playing House, Hip-Hop and R&B. The exhibition will otherwise be fully visible from outside the space offering an opportunity to engage from the sidewalk or street.
This exhibition was made possible with generous support from Maine Arts Commission, Maine Humanities Council and the Haymarket People’s Fund.