“Black Rainbow” is a group exhibition dedicated to betweenities, liberation, and apparel as magic armour to protect the human body and soul’s authenticity and vulnerability regardless of race and gender. Curated by Wumen in collaboration with Margreeth Olsthoorn, this exhibition is inspired by the life story of African-American occult thinker and writer Paschal Beverly Randolph (1825-1875). He pioneered the introduction of the queerness theory in Northern America over 100 years ago, and dedicated his life as an activist for black liberation.

Erotic magic, Black emancipation, gender fluidity, interplanetary spirit realms — these were but a few of the topics that preoccupied Paschal Beverly Randolph. Author Lara Langer Cohen considers the neglected politics of Randolph’s esoteric writings alongside the repeated frustration of his activism: how dreams of other worlds, above and below our own, reflect the unfulfilled promises of Emancipation.

I believe in love, all the way through. And while I live I will help every man, woman, and the betweenities to win, obtain, intensify, deepen, purify, strengthen and keep it, and I will help all others to do the same. There! That’s me! I mean it!

The new empire and the new civilization yet to come out of that poor yet rich and mighty people is destined to be as great in peace and spiritual goodness, as their masters have been in intellect and war. In that new Zion, Science will erect her halls and Art shall build her schools; and in them African genius, untainted for the cuticular hue, God’s doings, not theirs, shall pursue the triumphs of investigation. Ay! And by its warmth and fervour open new doors to the mysterious realms above and around us, that the colder white can never penetrate; and thus the black shall add his quota to the common stock of human knowledge, and the word Justice will have a meaning in this world.

Paschal Beverly Randolph

“Black Rainbow” will be exhibited at MO2, a new independent art space in Rotterdam beside Margreeth Olsthoorn’s concept store, dedicated to showcasing experimental contemporary artwork with an affinity to textile, apparel, and conscious fashion. MO2 intended to hold an open space for young emerging artists and designers to test new ideas, and encourage a wider discourse on beauty and identity to the public.

This new space has been introduced by Margreeth Olsthoorn, a well-known Dutch stylist and owner of the eponymous fashion boutique “MARGREETH OLSTHOORN” in Rotterdam. She is known for her influential position in the Dutch fashion world and her progressive take on the industry.

Margreeth Olsthoorn opened her boutique in 1986 and has since built a reputation as a forerunner in the Dutch creative scene. Her boutique is located in a former butcher shop and is known for its special selection of avant-garde and unique clothing from both emerging designers and established brands. Olsthoorn is known for her personal approach and her ability to inspire clients, drawing on her vast experience in styling. 

As a prominent figure in the Dutch fashion scene, Margreeth Olsthoorn has had a lasting influence on fashion culture in the Netherlands, creating a platform for progressive designers and contributing to the recognition and appreciation of innovative style in the Netherlands.