Event Title

Black Male: Representation Within the Art Museum

Presenter Information

Orly Vermes, Oberlin College

Location

King Building 343

Start Date

4-29-2016 1:30 PM

End Date

4-29-2016 2:30 PM

Abstract

This research focuses on the Whitney Museum’s 1994 exhibition, Black Male: Representations of Black Masculinity in Contemporary American Art. The exhibition sought to display the manners in which contemporary artists have represented black masculinity over the span of 20 years. Black Male included more than 70 works by 29 artists, not united by gender or racial identities. The exhibition was met with predominantly negative reviews and provoked much contentious debate. In my research I identify and contextualize the reactions generated by Black Male. In doing so I argue that what prevented the exhibition from being seen as a success was the museum’s failure to take into account its own position of power and ability to marginalize.

Notes

Session I, Panel 6 - The Production of Space: Studies of Ethnicity, Identity, and Place
Moderator: Wendy Kozol, Professor of Comparative American Studies

Major

Art History; Creative Writing

Advisor(s)

Bernard Matumbo, Creative Writing
Erik Inglis, Art History

Project Mentor(s)

Erik Inglis, Art History

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Apr 29th, 1:30 PM Apr 29th, 2:30 PM

Black Male: Representation Within the Art Museum

King Building 343

This research focuses on the Whitney Museum’s 1994 exhibition, Black Male: Representations of Black Masculinity in Contemporary American Art. The exhibition sought to display the manners in which contemporary artists have represented black masculinity over the span of 20 years. Black Male included more than 70 works by 29 artists, not united by gender or racial identities. The exhibition was met with predominantly negative reviews and provoked much contentious debate. In my research I identify and contextualize the reactions generated by Black Male. In doing so I argue that what prevented the exhibition from being seen as a success was the museum’s failure to take into account its own position of power and ability to marginalize.