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Black Documents Exhibitions
December 5, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 10:00am, repeating until December 15, 2017
Historically, black and brown bodies have been instruments of wealth-building or frivolity, posed to amuse or titillate. Jamel Shabazz: Black Documents & Black Documents: Freedom will serve as a counterbalance to the piecemeal aggregation of media images that frequently misrepresent large sections of the American population.
Shabazz’s work renders blackness not as eroticized mythology or criminal aftermath, but as heroic iconography that pushes diasporic Africans toward the center of the American photographic aesthetic. This exhibit is presented as evidence against contemporary media narratives that often place blackness as culprit. What James Baldwin referred to as “the bloody catalog of oppression” has memed with appalling regularity and is underpinned by images of Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and 12-year old Tamir Rice. And the list of women killed under suspicious circumstances has grown so long we’re implored to #SayHerName: Sandra Bland, Michelle Cusseaux, and Maya Hall among others. But in the same way the barbarized face of Emmett Till demanded we not look away, Shabazz’s work provides a place of visual solace.
Jamel Shabazz: Black Documents is complemented by Black Documents: Freedom, photographic works by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Lola Flash, Danny Ramon Peralta, Edwin Torres, and Michael Young. Their photos offer a contemplative appraisal of conversations between lens and subject, and give further agency to black lives. All share a similar aesthetic path as Shabazz while exploring a variety of social, gender, and urban geographies.