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Opening Reception: Vanguard Revisited: Poetic Politics & Black Futures
Saturday, Jan 26, 2019, 5:00PM - 8:00PM
Walter and McBean Galleries
SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus
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Vanguard Revisited: Poetic Politics & Black Futures

Collaborative Practices led by Jeff Gunderson presented with University of California Santa Cruz and guest curated by Leila Weefur

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

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.

5/5 Collective and Lucas use a taxonomic approach to examine “Home” by gathering and archiving objects, offering a quiet confrontation to the viewer’s notions of “Home” and Blackness. Stimage and Martin use high contrast iconographies that serve as bold punctuations to the “What We Want, What We Believe,” sentiment of the Panther’s legendary 10 Point Program. Black Futures is not delivered with a passive voice, but a voice steeped in deft poetics and sharp politics that continue to accumulate power from its own rich history.

The Visiting Artist + Scholars series will present a conversation in conjunction with this exhibition. More information forthcoming. 

 

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.