Richard Fung, Untitled (For Colin) (still), 2020. Video. © the artist.
The Plural of He
Mar 15 - Jul 21, 2024
Through newly commissioned works by five artists, The Plural of He explores the life and work of Colin Robinson (1961–2021), the Trinidadian American poet, critic, and unsung hero of social and sexual liberation movements in New York, the Caribbean, and throughout the world. Displayed alongside archival objects, the commissioned works respond to records of Robinson’s personal history, from carnival costumes and calypso music to love letters and agitprop.
Robinson’s writing, which he considered a form of activist performance, continues to percolate into the activities of creative and political organizations and a multitude of artistic practices, including choreography and filmmaking. Living as an undocumented migrant in New York for twenty-five years, Robinson was a powerful force in the city’s queer, HIV/AIDS, and feminist movements. He co-founded the historic New York State Black Gay Network and the Audre Lorde Project, and was Director of HIV Prevention at Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He was also a member of Other Countries, a Black gay men’s literary collective, and published provocative essays in landmark anthologies, academic journals, and newspapers. Robinson returned to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, for the second time in his life in 2006; there, he co-founded the critically important LGBTQI+ organization CAISO (Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation) and served as its Director of Imagination. A collection of Robinson’s poetry, You Have You Father Hard Head, was published in 2016, five years prior to his untimely passing in 2021.
Lauded as a godfather of the LGBTQIA+ movement by many fellow activists, Robinson can be remembered richly through his archives, which shine a light on his complicated character. Each of the commissioned works engages a specific part of the archives to reveal different dimensions of his person.
With commissions by Llanor Alleyne, Leasho Johnson, Ada M. Patterson, Devan Shimoyama, and Natalie Wood, and additional works by Richard Fung and amber williams-king.
Curated by Andil Gosine.