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H(A)UNTED – Curated by: Shantrelle P. Lewis

“I do not care a damn for any art that is not used for propaganda.” ~ W.E.B. du Bois, 1926

In a world in which Blackness is visually over-determined—both as hyper-visible and invisible—there is no ocular meme more pervasive in American society than that of the so-called violent and dangerous Black male, who is always already in need of pursuit, capture, incarceration and inevitably extermination.” ~ Mark Anthony Neale, 2012

“May #TrayvonMartin haunt us and rattle our homes to their foundations and throw dishes and ruin freshly-baked cakes and abuse our pets and scream and wail in the recesses of our consciousnesses as Beloved did Sethe’s.” ~ Son of Baldwin, 2012

“Young African American men die at a rate that is at least 1.5 times the rate of young white and Hispanic men, and almost three times the rate of young Asian men (Fig. 6). While the death rate drops for men ages 25 to 29 for most groups, it continues to rise among African Americans.” ~ Stats from Kaiser Family Foundation, 2006

Context:

On a rainy evening on February 26, shortly after 7pm, Trayvon Martin spoke his last words…pleas for help and screams of mercy. He died a brutal death at the hands of George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood patrolman who decided that 17-year old Trayvon looked suspicious. Trayvon’s crime – he was young, a male and Black. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie and took a break from watching an NBA All-Star game to go to the local convenience store for a pack of skittles and an iced tea. Justice for Travyon’s death has been the outcry for the Black community At-large. However, less than several months ago, this same community was up in arms over the legal execution of another young Black man, Troy Davis. To date, Black men have suffered a long history of violence as a result of distorted stereotyping created from the institutional establishment of mis-leading images perpetuated by mass media. From the advent of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of A Nation, to the constant bombardment of negative images of Black men and boys in the news, videos, newspapers and magazines, this imagery has perpetuated antagonistic attitudes and behaviors towards this demographic, which has innumerably resulted in death. From early 20th century lynchings to more recent killings by police, many lives have been lost as a direct and indirect result of racist stereotyping of Black men.

RELEVANCE:

CCCADI and MoCADA are committed to upholding a tradition of arts and activism. In the same manner in which Ida B. Wells-Barnett fought feverishly against lynchings and W.E.B. du Bois urged artists to use their talent for the sake of propaganda, our institutions encourage artists to use their voices to contribute to the empowerment of our communities.  In response to Travyon Martin’s recent unwarranted murder and the consequences of being Black and male in America, we invite artists to join us in raising critical awareness in the demand for justice and the fight to end the criminalization of Black men that is an apparent result of racial stereotyping. In a recent report conducted by The Opportunity Agenda entitled “Media Representations and the Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys,” a direct correlation was made between the portrayal in media of Black men and boys and how resulting effects on society of these images, lowers their life expectancy.  Given the nature of this epidemic throughout history, from the countless lynchings of Black men and boys, the brutal murders of unarmed men by the police, and the prosecution and imprisonment of others, this exhibition seeks to confront stereotypes, incite critical analysis and engage activism. Additionally, institutions, we stand in solidarity with all families throughout the U.S. who are still grieving the lost lives of their sons. H(A)UNTED seeks to confront mainstream messaging and visual culture’s bombardment of negative images that stereotype Black men. It also seeks to address what happens in the aftermath of the horrendous results of racial stereotyping.  Lastly, this exhibition will provide a platform for artists to speak out and challenge the status quo in attempts to shift the ideological and behavioral paradigms that currently dictate the livelihood of Black men and boys in our society.

SUBMISSIONS

In order for your submission to be considered complete, please forward ALL of the items below:

  1. Please submit 5-10 hi-res jpeg images with descriptions completed on Inventory List (title, medium, dimensions, date(s) of completion). Images should be submitted via a flickr link or CD.
  2. CV or Resume
  3. Artist Statement – as it relates specifically to the exhibition’s topic.
  4. Brief bio
  5. For videos, email link or file. (Must be Quicktime compatible).
  6. Submission Application
  7. Inventory List

INCOMPLETE SUBMISSIONS will not be considered.

NOTE: Please upload images via flickr and send a link. Please be prepared to submit hi-res images upon request.

Forward submissions and questions to:

Shantrelle P. Lewis at slewis@cccadi.org

212.307.7420       ext. 3008

DEADLINE (2.5 weeks)

April 7, 2012

EXHIBITION DATES

April  21 – May 15, 2012

LOCATION:

Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute

SHIPPING/DELIVERY of WORK:

All artists will be responsible for the delivery of their art work.

In response to the time sensitive nature of this issue, the exhibition will run concurrently with our upcoming exhibition – In A Time of Change, featuring the photography of Delphine-Fawundu Buford, which will be on view’s at MoCADA’s extension space May through mid-June, 2012. Any funds raised in association with the exhibition and during the Opening Reception will be donated to the family of Trayvon Martin.

About CCCADI

The Caribbean Cultural Center/African Diaspora Institute, commonly known as the Caribbean Cultural Center, was conceived in 1976 by Dr. Marta Moreno Vega with the vision to create an international organization promoting and linking communities of African descendants wherever our communities are present. Dedicated to making visible to the populations of New York and our communities worldwide, the invisible history, culture, and welfare of peoples of African descent, the Center is based in New York City, but effectively works for the social, cultural, and economic equity of African Diaspora communities everywhere.

Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts

MoCADA is committed to fostering a greater awareness and appreciation of the arts and cultures of the African Diaspora as it relates to contemporary urban issues. The experiences and cultural contributions of people of African descent have been marginalized throughout history and MoCADA’s mission is to undertake the responsibility of rewriting that history in order to give a more accurate portrayal of the contributions of people of African descent to the artistic and global landscape.

About the Curator:

Shantrelle P. Lewis is Brooklyn-based curator and a native of New Orleans who returned home in September 2007 to assist in its revitalization efforts after a 12-year stint on the east coast. In October 2009, Ms. Lewis relocated to New York, where she is currently the Director of Public Programming and Exhibitions at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI).  For two years, she worked in the capacity of Executive Director and Curator of the McKenna Museum of African American Art. Having received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in African American Studies from Howard and Temple Universities respectively, her extensive travels to places throughout Africa, Europe, the U.S., the Caribbean and South America has allowed Shantrelle to experience and witness the manifestation of the African Diasporan aesthetic firsthand. Ms. Lewis has demonstrated a commitment to researching, documenting and preserving African Diasporan culture. As a curator, Ms. Lewis uses exhibition to responds critically to socio-political and cosmological phenomenon through an African-centered lens.

As an emerging curator, Shantrelle has executed shows at several different institutions including the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art and the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Her curatorial credits include exhibitions on a variety of topics ranging from African Spirituality to a tribute to world-renowned photographer Jamel Shabazz. She has worked with a host of emerging artists in various media. Past exhibitions include audacious! the lost fotography and films of funk diva betty davis with Numa Perrier, Life After Death: A Multi-Media Analysis with the Persona that Was/Is Fela Anikulapo KutiSOS: Magic, Revelry and Resistance in Post-Katrina ArtRe-Imagining Haiti’s Standing With Papa Legba and Le Projet Noveau in partnership CCCADI and MoCADA, which was co-curated with Shante’ Cozier, and Dirty Sensibilities: A 21st Century Exploration of the New American Black South. In Fall 2011, Ms. Lewis completed a curatorial residency at Open Ateliers Zuidoost in preparation for a 2014 exhibition on Dutch Caribbean Artists that will open at CCCADI’s new location in Harlem. Current traveling curatorial projects include Sex Crimes Against Black Girls, which includes a forthcoming anthology co-edited with Dr. Yaba Blay and Dandy Lion: Articulating a Re(de)fined Black Masculine Identity which is on view at Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, MD now through May 2012.

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