William Ransom: Keep Up/Hold Up
Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
Oct. 23, 2023 - Mar. 5, 2022
Bearing the weight of a white supremacist history in the reality of a life lived in a Black body, William Ransom’s sculptural installation KEEP UP/HOLD UP creates a transitory provisional state, rife with an inherent unease and uncertainty. Ransom’s massing of charred wood held together with bent and bound wood strips and clamps creates a literal material tension. If the sculpture were unclamped, the compressed tension would release with force, suggesting Black energy and experience being artificially compressed by dominant society—or alternately, that energy ready to explode forth. The installation draws attention to the underlying instabilities and stresses of our world’s current state of social tension and the ever-present potential for flare-up or collapse.