seventy states | solange

September 03, 2017

Solange examines her black identity in an interactive exhibition for Tate Modern.

words by: Bere Wangge

A year may have passed since it was released, but Solange’s latest album - A Seat at the Table - is becoming even more relevant now that America's racial conflicts are being exposed anew. A portrayal of Solange’s struggles as a black woman in America, the album has not only won her a Grammy and critical acclaim, but also an avid fan in London's Tate Modern gallery. 

The London-based art institution has invited Solange to respond to its ongoing exhibition, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power. The resulting project is an online exhibition entitled Seventy States, which is currently viewable on Tate Modern’s website.

Sparked by a photograph by the artist Betye Saar, the interactive piece was made in collaboration with the artist Carlota Guerrero. The piece “contains some of the early concepts that helped shape and mold the visuals for [Solange’s songs] Cranes in the Sky and Don't Touch My Hair, as well as unused concepts and scenes from the process using footage co-directed by Alan Ferguson," according to the Tate. 

Like A Seat at the Table, the piece depicts Solange's experience in the world today as a black woman. "I am a Black woman. A woman yes, but a Black woman first and last. Black womanhood has been at the root of my entire existence since birth," she says in an accompanying write-up.

Also included in the interactive piece are two of Solange’s untitled poems and an Alan Del Rio Ortiz-directed work called we sleep in our clothes, (because we're warriors of the night), which the singer first created in 2010.

To see Seventy States in its entirety, visit Tate Modern's site.