Saturday, April 17, 2021

How a museum showing honor Brono Taylor is trying to ‘get it right’

Promise, witness, remembrance“- an exhibition inaugurated on 7 April Speed ​​Art Museum In honor of Louisville, Ky. Bryo taylor, A 26-year-old medical worker who was killed by police nearly a year ago – swiftly came together, yet in a way “annoyed by the conversation”, its curator said Allison Glenn.

They include, centered, Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, whose input led to the show’s title; And painter Amy Sherald, whose Taylor’s picture Will anchor the exhibition. Two advisory committees – one national, one in Louisville – have directed the production of the show, in part to avoid Sholes Which museums have found in their efforts to address trauma and inequality in their communities their own the manner.

But “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” —which lists a list of two dozen artists with big names (eg Kerry James Marshall and Lorna Simpson), are less familiar with others (Bethany Collins, Noirs Anderson, John- Cesari Goff), Louisville ties with many, and local photographers who have documented protests over the past year – both have more and simpler ambitions. The hope, “said Glenn, is that museums can get it right” improves through consultation, not diminishing, the quality of curators. It is also to help the sewing community in a midsize city to listen to those ostracized by art institutions in the past.

During a phone conversation, Glenn, who is from Detroit and is an associate curator in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art In Bentonville, Ark., Glowing insights were shared in creating the exhibition, which will run from 6 June. The following excerpts have been edited and condensed.

This exhibition is the result of intense consultation with Tamika Palmer, but also many others. Whose advice, looking for artist and non-artist?

First, I spoke with Briona’s mother, and asked how we might think about her daughter’s legacy, and translated that into three ideas: promise, witness, remembrance. Then I called a national panel. I was very deliberate in developing the panel because of its special status: I lost my brother to gun violence about a year and a half ago. There is no need to see this story, but it is important to mention it, because it tells a lot. I wanted a cabinet of advisors that could relate on a personal level.

[Advisers to the show also include] Thyster Gates, who has been successful in his Work With him Tamir Rice Foundation. John-cesari goff There is a film in the exhibition; His father took over the Mother Emanuel AME congregation in Charleston after the murders there, and the Rev. Clementa Pinkney was his mentor. Hunk Willis Thomas lost his cousin 20 years ago, and has acted about the same. I included a friend, La Keisha Leake, who was in grade school when she was his cousin. Trevon martin Was killed; I helped him work on some projects, including one Exhibition He curated. Raymond Green, who lives here in Arkansas, is a cousin of Elton Sterling [who was fatally shot by white police officers in Baton Rouge, La.]. Experiencing harm from gun violence or policy brutality – or both – brings a level of care.

Without prior experience in Louisville, as a guest curator, how did you develop an exhibition for the city?

I wanted to create a conversation between the local community and the national community – whether it was in the art world or between private citizens. Toya Northington, strategist for community engagement at the Speed ​​Art Museum, developed the Louisville Advisory Committee. They gave me very good feedback and suggestions. It was a different kind of curatorial process: I was not trying to run a thesis based on a research or an artist’s research. It was really built on a conversation about how a museum can get it right, how the art world can respond, what it means to collaborate in this space.

What is the personal appearance of the city as you go about work?

I spent time in Louisville. I read everything I could. I heard about the podcast. And there’s a relationship that I can’t put my finger on, but I grew up in Detroit, I’ve worked in New Orleans, and Louisville is another port city with a French connection. It borders north and south. Where is it Lewis and clark Launched their campaign, and I am thrilled with the ideology of Western expansion. Some loops closed when I left. For example, that terrible phrase: “Being sold under the river“Down the river is New Orleans; the phrase has its origins in Louisville.”

How did community input change the shape of the show?

To tell this story, I did not necessarily think that every artist should be a black artist. But after listening, I understood the importance of visibility to the Louisville community, presenting only a show of black artists in this space. (Tyler Gerth, a local photographer Shot dead The only exception, documenting the protests on June 27.) Is “Aha!” Was. Moment: This is the desire of the community, and I can be flexible, I can be agile in this way, without compromising any curatorial framework. And then it deepened. The site of the exhibition is galleries which usually holds Dutch and Flemish Collection. We have 22-foot ceilings, terrazzo floors, marble doors. It became clear that one effect would be a kind of disintegration of the location of that museum.

Many people feel that museums are not accessible, they do not consider who they are. This exhibition is about a woman who lived in Louisville, whose family lived in Louisville; This is what happened to him, and in response to these things. There will be people who can come to the museum for the first time.

Amy Sharld’s portrait of Bretton Taylor would be a big draw, appropriately. Is this the posthumous hero-risk of someone who didn’t ask for it? And how do you create a show around it that brings both care and insight in the wake of the trauma?

Ie Question. In layout and design, when you walk into the gallery, your visionline will have a portrait. If all of that is here for you, then you can go there.

The first part, called “Promise”, is slightly more ideological, a conversation about the ideologies of the United States that views them through symbols. Bathany collinsFor example, Star Spangled addresses Banner’s work.

Photographs from 2020 are opposed in the “Witness” section, as well as works that link a century of movements to the Black Life. And there is Sam Gilliam, Who grew up and studied in Louisville, protested with the expectation that his work as a black male painter was to carry the weight of representation as part of a movement toward positive imagination. The opposition which in itself becomes a protest. And it sets the stage for someone like Rashid Johnson To work within conceptual art and abstraction, but more independently.

I decided that I was not going to exhibit any work that was painful in the exhibition. But I also had to clarify that I could not edit the archive when it appeared in pictures of the protest.

Can the exhibition take advantage of the Louisville art scene beyond the museum?

I think of Alisha Wormsleywork, “There are black people in the future, “Which will be installed like a ticker-tape in the second gallery. As part of Alisha’s practice, she must pay the museum an honorarium to three local artists to respond to that idea. The Louisville steering committee will decide how Be carried forward

What is the occasion of this project?

The opportunity is to show what it means. I don’t think museums are getting everything right. Cultural activists are not going to get everything right. But when you listen, you provide an opportunity for connection, for access. And I hope the end result provides a platform for people to listen, and perhaps for the process of the previous year.

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