A narrative cultural portrait, a series of eight still life photographs, or "reliquaries," that dialogue with an original poem.

On View November 19, 2021 – January 30, 2022 | Potter Gallery

SECCA is proud to present And the Flies Decide Nothing, a photographic exhibition by California-based social practice artist Babette Shaw, coming to SECCA's Main Gallery in November 2021.


Artist Babette Shaw engages in cultural excavation. With focused intention to challenge social hierarchies regarding gender and race constructions, she gathers everyday gendered objects, organic and inorganic matter, and historical momento mori and vanitas tropes. Through the mediums of sculpture and photography, she creates what she calls "reliquaries" to reveal where we are presently in regard to gender and race constructs. Her work is evocative, stirring, and at times, humorous.

To aid in the illustration of the complexities of our current cultural and historical conflation of ideals, she developed a process and aesthetic that blurs distinction between painting, sculpture and photography. At once the images read as monumental, voluminous Dutch master paintings, three-dimensional topographical and gravitational creations, and large-scale photographs.

Shaw's intention is to engage a communal call for an end to gender and race constructions, and to inspire all to give birth to a new way of thinking, being, living.