Curated by Tiona Nekkia McClodden
"1968/1969 is the beginning I’ve chosen. Barbara’s marriage to her husband Clay has ended after a joint trip around the world, building a home together - she realized that that is not the life that she wanted. Barbara buys her own motorcycle, a 1972 BWM R75/5, and proceeds on a trip of her own across the country, into her identity as a lesbian. She goes toward her desires, her sexuality, and the development of her artistic practice. She decides to make herself. She studies herself. She writes herself. She never turns back."
"In looking at Barbara’s work during this time, I feel the privilege of being able to re-assess, to arrange and re- position her work through and alongside my own subjectivity. Too often, lesbian identity has been treated as a nostalgic or archaic proposition. As a Black dyke, I refute this stasis. Lesbian identity has always been in flux, changing over time within itself. Barbara’s archive reveals a portrait of a lesbian constantly challenging herself in real time, constantly seeking a way to exist as her full self, unbridled, in a society which has tried to erase her and others many times over."
"A letter from a lover reveals a note in the margins, perhaps an afterthought penned just before sending:
Write me that you love me dearly and that you always will.
Tell me there is a lesbian forever."