5/5 in group exhibition, Vanguard Revisited: Poetic Politics & Black Futures @ SFAI

IMAGE: Pirkle Jones. Black Panthers drilling before Free Huey Rally, DeFremery Park, Oakland, CA, #23 from A Photographic Essay on The Black Panthers. © Regents of the University of California. Courtesy Special Collections, University Library, University of California Santa Cruz.

The San Francisco Art Institute in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Cruz will exhibit the photographic essay, BLACK PANTHERS, 1968 by Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones. Initially shown at San Francisco's DeYoung Museum from December 1968 through February 1969, this show will coincide with the 50-year anniversary of its original exhibition; which in its controversy in 1968 made the DeYoung “relevant” to a broader community some 50 years ago. The work is still pertinent today and will serve as a platform to discuss issues of documentary photography, social activism, and how the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s in many ways manifests itself in the social context of today.

Poetic Politics and Black Futures is a living archive of political possibilities. Artists Kija Lucas, Tosha Stimage, 5/5 Collective, and Chris Martin present a range of creative and radical resistance. Working in concert with the archival photographs, this exhibition of contemporary work assembles a new understanding of the Black political imagination. To disrupt the assumption that activism need to be aggressive or didactic, they employ symbolism associated with Black radical traditions, making space for nuance and complexity.

< Read full exhibition statement

On View: January 22–April 7
Opening Reception: January 26 | 5–8pm

VIA Art Movements by HyperAllergic podcast

EPISODE SUMMARY

In his large two-part exhibition, the queer Haitian-American artist centers the body, which figures in his work both literally and figuratively.

EPISODE NOTES

It’s rare for an artist to have two concurrent solo shows in the same city, but Didier William accomplished that with his Curtains, Stages, and Shadows, Act 1 & Act 2. The two-part exhibition explores the formal and narrative possibilities of painting. In his review of Act 1, critic Seph Rodney focuses on the figures that can appear as elusive as they are powerful, writing:

These are all figures ready to enact real violence with the cutlasses, and they are also figures who are depicted as staging a rebellion. If one views the text in the back room, one can begin to understand why William believes it necessary to pictorially rehearse the action of insurrection.

I invited Rodney to continue the conversation with William in this episode of Art Movements, in which the two explore the visual language of revolution, specifically in the context of the Haitian revolution, which is one of the larger themes in the artist’s series.

A special thanks to Red Wedding for providing the music for this episode. You can check her out on Instagram.

ABOUT THE SHOW

A weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world with host Hrag Vartanian, cofounder and editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic.

“It’s always night or we wouldn’t need light.”

+Thelonius Monk, quoted in Time magazine, 1964

5/5: black now(here) @ MoAD

our first museum show is finally up and open to the public as of sunday, 11/11! join me and 5/5 for the artist talk and opening reception of black now(here) this thursday, 11/15. go time is 5pm.

Rsvp here.

“The war of an artist with his society is a lover’s war, and he does, at his best, what lovers do, which is to reveal the beloved to himself and, with that revelation, to make freedom real.”

+James Baldwin