In this work, Firelei Báez overlays brightly-hued, painterly gesture onto a chronological chart of world history by Emma Willard entitled "The Temple of Time" (1846). Emma Willard was an American women's rights activist dedicated to education, who wrote several textbooks on history and geography throughout her lifetime. In this source document, Willard rendered a new perspective on time in multiple dimensions, exhibiting nations both ethnographically and chronographically in an attempt to render a total history of knowledge in time. Drawing visual cues from science fiction, Báez uses mark-marking as a means of intervening within the map's atypical representation of time—in relation to space, "sovereigns by which the age is chiefly distinguished," and figures of ideological influence. Imploding its composition with a vibrant fissure, Báez further complicates linear and reductive approaches to understanding the past, to generate new possibilities for the future.
Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond, Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, September 17, 2020 - June 6, 2021
Cosmo Whyte, "The Poetics of Opacity," Art Papers, Spring 2021. P15.