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Jelsen Lee Innocent


“My work is often an investigation of fixed racial categories and their corresponding culturally constructed boundaries —  prominent and tangible in the everyday.

Lede Paragraph is purposefully a diptych.  An imagined composite of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois’ prolific writings, specifically his concept of dual consciousness in which he champions issues of the darker races in an inhospitable world.

This work is rooted in Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois’s legacy of generating critical discourse on global Black identities, and offering strategies for comprehensive transnational liberation and the sustainable advancement of Black people the world over.”— Jelsen Lee Innocent

Two tall framed pieces, the left narrower than the right, featuring silver background with light white lines forming bounding boxes of various sizes.
Lede Paragraph [W.E.B. Du Bois], Jelsen Lee Innocent, 2018, Courtesy of the artist.


Jelsen Lee Innocent

(b. 1983) Jelsen Lee Innocent is a Haitian-American conceptual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. His studio practice investigates perceived boundaries, the deceptive capabilities of tactility, and the perseverance of racial formation. Innocent’s sculptures and installations present rigid, brooding objects that confront and contort bias.

A black & white portrait of an older, bald, mustachioed, African American man in a suit sitting in front of a spiral patterned wall.

W.E.B. Du Bois, [from the portfolio 'O, Write My Name:' American Portraits, Harlem Heroes], 1936. Carl Van Vechten. ©Van Vechten Trust; Compilation/Publication © Eakins Press Foundation, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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W.E.B. Du Bois

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