somewhere listening: Company B, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division, A.E.F. 1918-1919

Debra Priestly

Drawn from a panoramic portrait found in her grandmother’s collection of family photos, somewhere listening is one of Priestly’s keystone works. Describing the piece herself Priestly states; "During a residency at the Marie Walsh Sharpe, The Space Program, 2013-2014, I created “Company B, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division, A. E. F. 1918 – 1919”, 2014. It is an installation of 212 charcoal pencil portraits measuring 28 x 294 inches. Vertical panels (measuring 12 x 3, 5 x 5 and 9 x 3 inches) are displayed in a long horizontal grid that is three rows high. Deconstructed and enlarged, each portrait is surrounded by a one-inch space. My intention is to prompt the viewer to pause and recognize each man as an individual. Collectively, the installation reconstructs the constructed panorama from which the portraits are drawn. Enlarged approximately seven times in length from the original photograph, this installation brings to light an African American infantry (a Buffalo Soldiers Division) that was assembled from numerous states and sent into combat in France during WWI. I drew these portraits over the course of a year. The photograph in which my great uncle appears comes from my grandmother’s archive." Source:
Date of Birth
(b. 1961)
Charcoal pencil on paper, mounted on board, 212 panels
installation: 28 x 294 in. (71.12 x 746.76 cm.)
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Museum Purchase