A free virtual exhibition centering the beauty and resilience of Black subjects
The artists featured in The Black Index—Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas—build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, these artists question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that still serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification.
The works in The Black Index make viewers aware of their own expectations of Black figuration by interrupting traditional epistemologies of portraiture through unexpected and unconventional depictions. These works image the Black body through a conceptual lens that acknowledges the legacy of Black containment that is always present in viewing strategies. The approaches used by Delgado, Henry, Hinkle, Kaphar, Lovell, and Thomas suggest understandings of Blackness and the racial terms of our neo-liberal condition that counter legal and popular interpretations and, in turn, offer a paradigmatic shift within Black visual culture.
Bridget R. Cooks is Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies and the Department of Art History, University of California, Irvine. Exhibition and tour organized by Sarah Watson, Chief Curator, Hunter College Art Galleries, New York in collaboration with the University Art Galleries at UC Irvine, Palo Alto Art Center, and Art Galleries at Black Studies, University of Texas at Austin.
This exhibition is dedicated to David C. Driskell.
CAC Gallery Closed (Online Only). Due to COVID-19 campuswide restrictions, the exhibition will not be open to the general public.
2021/01/14 - 2021/03/20
Additional time info:
Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm
The Dark Database: Facial Recognition and its "Failure" to Enroll
Dennis Delgado, artist, with Calvin John Smiley, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Hunter College.
Hosted by The Hunter College Art Galleries.
Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm
"A Study in Blackness and Black Identity"
Cherise Smith, Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin.
Hosted by UCI.
Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm
Alicia Henry, Professor of Art, Fisk University with Bridget R. Cooks, Professor and Exhibition Curator, UC Irvine.
Hosted by the Palo Alto Art Center.
Friday, February 19, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
"The Black Index: Archiving Black Creativity and Resistance"
Simone Fujita, Bibliographer, African American Art History Initiative at The Getty Research Institute with Krystal Tribbett, Curator for Orange County Regional History, UC Irvine.
Hosted by The Getty.