#WhileBlack
Race relations in America

John Akomfrah / Purple (still)

America has had its complicated history. From its early colonialist exchanges with the natives, through the history of slavery of Africans, the McCarthy era, the Cold War, diversity and segregation, racism and its love of arms, and now the rise of a new populism which seems to appeal to the base instincts of our humanity, or the lack thereof.

At once a great nation and an enigma of the highest order, America is a thing of extremes as seldom seen elsewhere, a contradiction unto itself, and a force to contend with.

100 years ago this month America saw what some consider one of the worst lynching incidents in its history: a mob killing 13 people, including Mary Turner and her unborn baby.

These past few weeks the movement of #WhileBlack has been on the rise on social media, on the coat tails of the #MeToo mobilization which was finally granted a small closure this week as the disgraced Harvey Weinstein was charged after dozens of victims had come forth speaking out against him.

As if the institutionalized violence against the black population were not enough, we have survived a swift succession of incidents these past few weeks where the police were summoned to intervene on individuals doing perfectly ordinary things: sitting on a porch, jogging in their neighborhood, driving a car, taking a nap in their dormitory lounge, doing mundane things, simply while black. Calling the police on these individuals must have required a fear and mistrust of others and a curious brand of courage which may clinically deserve a name. We commend the police on the many of these incidences where they found no wrong doing on the part of the suspects, who in reality were the actual victims of racial discrimination, or simply being human, while black.

From National Geographic’s launch of The Race Issue this year to the photo essay in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the exposé on Haitian Art following the U.S. President’s disparaging remarks on black majority nations, to James Baldwin’s collaboration with Richard Avedon in Nothing Personal recently reissued by Taschen, we continue the conversation on race relations. Today we survey some artists, in America and beyond, who have created, inspired, and engaged, while black.

 

Gordon Parks

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Julie Mehretu

John Akomfrah

Lorna Simpson

Camille Norment

James Baldwin & Richard Avedon / Nothing Personal

Lawrence Jacob / Studio Museum Harlem

Tyler Mitchell, Idyllic Space (still)
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Oct 18, 2019 – Feb 9, 2020
Structured around his concept of the aesthetic experience, this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to re-examine the career of...
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Oct 25, 2019 – Jan 12, 2020
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Sep 17, 2019 – Jan 26, 2020
Capa regularly used color film from the '40s until his death in 1954. Some of these photographs were published...
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The Earth Is All I Know of Wonder
Marsden Hartley
The Louisiana Museum embarks in the mission of acquainting the European public with a grand retrospective that gathers over...
+
30 Under 30 Women Photographers / Paris
November 8–10, 2019 / Paris
This year for its 10th Edition of 30 Under 30 Women Photographers, Artpil and Maison Photo present the 2019...
+
Aesthetica Short Film Festival / 2019
November 6 – 10, 2019
A hotbed for talent discovery and a key event for filmmakers to meet industry professionals, the festival celebrates independent...
+
ARTPIL / Prescription .103
All Saints & the Big Bang
The Pope's All Saints Day, Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, Shakespeare's Othello, T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral, Ansel Adams'...
+
What Can Be Done
Oct 13, 2019 – Feb 16, 2020
These works by Helen Cammock interweave women’s stories of loss and resilience with 17th Century Baroque music by female...
+
Soto. The Fourth Dimension
Oct 18, 2019 – Feb 9, 2020
Structured around his concept of the aesthetic experience, this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to re-examine the career of...
+
Rachel Rose
Oct 25, 2019 – Jan 12, 2020
In recent years Rose has quickly risen to prominence for her compelling video installations and films. This selective overview...
+
Capa in Color
Sep 17, 2019 – Jan 26, 2020
Capa regularly used color film from the '40s until his death in 1954. Some of these photographs were published...
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