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OMNISCIENCE: A Sculpture by Fred Wilson

May 27, 2022 - June 15, 2022

Campbell Rotunda


This spring the Gibbes will unveil OMNISCIENCE a sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist Fred Wilson. Renowned for his work that challenges assumptions of history, culture, race and conventions of display, Wilson’s interdisciplinary practice reframes objects and cultural symbols to encourage viewers to reconsider traditional social and historical narratives. This major new work is inspired by the story of Omar Ibn Said an Islamic scholar enslaved in the Carolinas from 1807 until his death in 1864. Said is believed to have written the only known Arabic-language autobiography penned by an enslaved African in the United States. Wilson explores Said’s powerful story through a monumental metalwork created in the tradition of decorative wrought ironwork common in Charleston’s historic built environment. The hand forged iron is juxtaposed with a bound replica of Said’s words written in iron gale ink on handwoven paper. The sculpture represents the artist’s first-ever venture in ironwork and is the first work Wilson has created specifically for a southeastern museum.

Fred Wilson. Image © MCG Photography

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Fred Wilson and Angela Mack in Conversation (In Person)

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Join Fred Wilson and Executive Director Angela Mack in a special conversation that will mark the occasion of the unveiling of the artist’s latest installation. Inspired by Charleston, history, and ...

Curator-led tour: <i>Omniscience<i>

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Join Director of Curatorial Affairs Sara Arnold for this in-depth look at Omniscience by Fred Wilson.