Major Touring Exhibition
The Luckman Gallery, located on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles, announces exhibition dates of July 20 Â August 31, 2002 for Reflections in Black: Smithsonian African American Photography, A History Deconstructed. This exhibition, which explores the rich legacy of African American photographers, will be on view in both the Luckman Gallery and the Fine Arts Gallery at Cal State L.A. Admission is free.
During the past two decades African American artists have used their work to help tear down and redefine rigid concepts of race and gender. The artists in this exhibition redefine the photographic image by looking at it as a document and metaphor, often deconstructing and reconstructing their personal histories and public personas. The symbolic and expressive imagery of the works produced during this time offer a different visual paradigm.
Just as hybridized forms of modern mass communication compete to define American society, these artists use strategies such as juxtaposing text with image and mixing fact with fantasy to challenge the viewerÂs assumptions about artistic authority and authenticity. By questioning received wisdom and commonly held beliefs about representation in general, they initiate reconsideration, allowing new questions to be asked and new values to be formed.
Among the featured artists in A History Deconstructed are Albert Chong, Lynn Marshall Linnemeir, Stephen Marc, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, and Cynthia Wiggins.
A History Deconstructed was originally presented by the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture as part of the broad exhibition, Reflections in Black: African American Photography: 1840 to the present, examining how, throughout history, black photographers have played a central role in influencing how African Americans visualized themselves. Reflections in Black is presented as a series of three thematic sections: The First 100 Years, 1842-1942, Art and Activism, and A History Deconstructed. While not a comprehensive survey of the history of African American photographers, Reflections in Black presents a context for reflecting on the works of many black photographers whose images weave an extremely rich and diverse collective history.
The exhibition is curated by Deborah Willis, former curator of exhibitions at the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. Willis is also a photographer, historian and the author of the book Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present (Norton, 2000). The exhibition tour is organized by Curatorial Assistance, Pasadena, California.
The presentation of this exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.
Notes for editors:
Â· Former Smithsonian curator Deborah Willis resides as a professor of Photography and Imaging at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. WillisÂs awards and fellowships include a MacArthur Fellowship, The International Center for Photography and the Golden Light Photography Book of the Year. Her past books include VanDerZee: The Portraits of James VanDerZee (1993), Lorna Simpson (1992), J.P. Ball: Daguerrean and Studio Photographer (1992), and Picturing Us: African-American Identity in Photography (1994).
Â· The SmithsonianÂs Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture is devoted to increasing public awareness and understanding of the historical experiences and the cultural expressions of people of African decent. Anacostia Museum was established in 1967 and in 1995 merged with the SmithsonianÂs Center for African American History and Culture.
Â· The Luckman Gallery is part of the Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, comprising a gallery, theater, small amphitheater, and the Street of the Arts walkway. Located on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles, the Luckman Complex assists and supports the University in achieving its education and community outreach goals, with a special emphasis on visual and performing arts. In all its visual arts programs and performances, the Complex provides professional and emerging art forms that enrich the quality of life of our communities, particularly those located in the central and eastern parts of Los Angeles.
Â· The City of Cultural Affairs Department serves as catalyst for the delivery of high quality arts and cultural experiences. The strategies for accomplishing its mission are centered around marketing, communication and relationships with community partners. For more information about the Department and its programs, visit the website [http://www.culturela.org] or call (213) 473-7700.
Â· Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions (CATE) is a nonprofit organization creating opportunities for access, outreach, and education in the visual arts through the creation and circulation of diverse and innovative exhibitions for museums and art organizations worldwide. CATE fosters collaborations between public and private resources by developing traveling exhibitions that expand public opportunities to view and experience significant works of art.
List of Artists
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