sum of the parts: what can be named, is a twenty minute performed oral history that recounts the disremembered journey of the Bowen family from its earliest documented history in Clinton, Jones County, Georgia in 1815, as told by Bowen herself. Influenced by Eli Wiesel’s 1989 New York Times article regarding art, the Holocaust, and the trivialization of memory, the work chronicles the lives of family members who could not speak on their own behalf by delving into the unknown, retracing what is hidden, and reclaiming histories of the lost.” – Lisa Steele
Deanna Bowen (b. 1969, Oakland; lives in Toronto) is a descendant of the Alabama and Kentucky born Black Prairie pioneers of Amber Valley and Campsie, Alberta. Bowen’s family history has been the central pivot of her auto-ethnographic interdisciplinary works since the early 1990s. Her broader artistic/educational practice examines history, historical writing and the ways in which artistic and technological advancements impact individual and collective authorship. She has received several awards in support of her artistic practice including a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 William H. Johnson Prize. Her work has been exhibited internationally in numerous film festivals and museums, including the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, the Images Festival, Flux Projects, the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax.