During the opening of the Question Bridge exhibit in the Scott H. Kaplan ’02 Art Gallery, Hank Willis Thomas, one of the four collaborating artists on the project, noted that this is the first time the exhibit has been held at a college or university.
Hank Willis Thomas worked with fellow artist Chris Johnson on this project and collaborated with Bayete Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair.
The exhibit, which is a multimedia project, examines the diversity within the Black male demographic using a series of questions and answers with a mesmerizing photo array projected on the walls of the art gallery. Thomas, who attended the opening, said of his work, “There is as much diversity within a demographic as there is outside of it. This project seeks to illustrate the fact that, although we might be of one race or culture, we are individuals.” While the exhibit is subtitled Black Males, he says it is simply about people. It was an official selection at the Sundance Film festival and has been shown nationally.
The project format was to have Black males ask questions on video. The questions were then answered by others who saw the individuals on the video. “The project is really about listening and provides authentic answers without preconceptions or stereotypes because it is not interactive,” explained Thomas. Questions like, “how do you know she’s the one?” are presented to those who give comprehensive and sometimes humorous answers about finding one’s lifelong partner. The exhibit is arranged in such a way that the viewer feels as if he or she has walked into a conversation between several people and is drawn into the process.
While the demographic in the exhibit is Black males, it is an installation for all to view and enjoy. The exhibit is accompanied by educational events throughout the month including two films by communication instructor Nicole Franklin titled Little Brother, Chapters 1 and 2, a blueprint roundtable discussion, an education workshop, panel discussion and an open mic. The panel discussion and open mic will be held on Friday, April 12, 2013. For the rest of the schedule, please click here.