Are We There Yet?, a group exhibition of photo- and video-based work curated by photographer Dawoud Bey, examined the ways in which a shifting sense of place is visualized through a broad range of material and conceptual strategies. The works challenged any easy sense of just where “there” is in the physical, geographical, and psychic landscape.
The work’s emphasis on leisurely mobility responds to the archetypal American wanderlust. Yet, the works also ask viewers to consider the myriad motivations for movement, including persecution; the works propose that movement is enacted for any number of complex reasons. The camera itself becomes a type of passport, able to bridge considerable geographic and experiential differences. At times, the journey into the unknown might motivate a photographer’s work; at other moments, a photographer might deliberately want to communicate details about a specific place to an audience. Venturing out from home might involve questioning just what and where home is. Ultimately, the experience of movement challenges the notion of “home” as a singular and fixed location.