ONLINE—Exhibit: The Black Index
January 13 – March 20Free
IRVINE—UC Irvine’s University Art Gallery is pleased to present The Black Index, a group exhibition featuring the work of Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas. The exhibition will be on view in the Contemporary Arts Center Gallery January 14th through March 20th, 2021.
The Black Index
Curated by Bridget R. Cooks
Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) Gallery
January 14 – March 20, 2021
The artists featured in The Black Index—Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas—build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, these artists question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that still serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification.
The works in The Black Index make viewers aware of their own expectations of Black figuration by interrupting traditional epistemologies of portraiture through unexpected and unconventional depictions. These works image the Black body through a conceptual lens that acknowledges the legacy of Black containment that is always present in viewing strategies. The approaches used by Delgado, Henry, Hinkle, Kaphar, Lovell, and Thomas suggest understandings of Blackness and the racial terms of our neo-liberal condition that counter legal and popular interpretations and, in turn, offer a paradigmatic shift within Black visual culture.
Due to COVID-19 campuswide restrictions, the exhibition will not be open to the general public. Please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org for viewing information.
This project received support from a Humanities for All Project Grant.
Image: Alicia Henry, Analogous III (2020). Courtesy of the artist.