The title of the exhibition was inspired by New Orleans jazz musician Christian Scott’s socially conscious 2010 album Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. The unspoken present is centermost in this frame, the site where past and future converge, which has always contained the possibility of other courses. Yesterday we said tomorrow addresses the social body and the individual, suggesting the deferral of structural and political change. The exhibition takes its cues from the specificity of our moment and of New Orleans itself, a city where inextricable layers of history and culture are a presence held in the land and where performance and resistance define daily life.
Artists will employ diverse readings, interpretative models, and various forms to create a nuanced interrogation and retelling of history that is attuned to our complex era. Resistance, liberation, and an insistence on existence have taken many forms. This exhibition brings together artists who employ strategies that rely on the embodied, the imagined, the scholarly, the irrational, the felt, the connective, and the firsthand.