(photo credit: Akintola Hanif – “Hazing” 2008)
Art is quite often a powerful response to the world, especially when it exposes and presents aspects of subjects that are not often seen. Even moreso when that art offers a powerful critique of those circumstances people find themselves in. The exhibit OFF WHITE does both of these things very well.
Curated by HYCIDE Magazine’s Akintola Hanif and running now through November 6 at MoCADA, OFF WHITE is “an exhibition of photography, film, design and sculpture that bears witness to the exclusionary systems of power that simultaneously privilege and ostracize people on the basis of race.” From the press release:
Together, works by Akintola Hanif, Khalik Allah, Nema Etebar, Shawn Theodore, Fletcher Williams III, Jamel Shabazz, Asif Farooq, and Adrian Franks provide a counternarrative to implicating the suffering in their own violent oppressions, while challenging the viewer to reexamine inherited and personal notions of responsibility.
(Note: Our film editor, Curtis John, ran a fantastic interview with photographer Jamel Shabazz, the subject of director Charlie Ahearn’s doc Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer)
Selections from Negrophila
Also opening alongside the show is also marks the opening of Selections from Negrophilia, on view in the Extended Gallery. Exhibited for the first time, Selections from Negrophilia features meditative, collaged mixed media works by Damon Davis that challenge the spectacle of black death by law enforcement through rapid media circulation. A St. Louis native, Davis’ instinctual works serve as a therapeutic response to seemingly endless and intentional acts of violence.
Throughout the course of the exhibition, join MoCADA for events that expand OFF WHITE beyond the gallery, including.
- A documentary filmmaking workshop led by photojournalist Akintola Hanif and filmmaker Rhys Valmonte;
- A screening of Arthur Jafa’s Dreams Are Colder Than Death, followed by a discussion on what it means to be black in America today;
- A community dialogue and portraiture session facilitated by HYCIDE, Bklyn Combine, and the Mott Hall Bridges Academy’s iMatter program on the importance of youth leadership within the changing sociopolitical landscape of Brooklyn neighborhoods;
- An artist talk with a selection of OFF WHITE exhibiting artists and community legal counsel about the relationship between art and political change; and
- A closing event featuring a series of physical and mental care workshops.