Smithsonian African American Photography: Art and ActivismReflections in Black
This exhibition explores the rich legacy of African American photographers who captured the struggles, achievements, and tragedies of a tumultuous time: the civil rights and black power movements of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Assuming the role of social activist, these photographers documented leading figures such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Muhammad Ali, as well as innovators in the music world such as Billie Holiday, Lester Young, and John Coltrane. A continuing desire to raise social consciousness motivates contemporary photographers to chronicle the realities of life for African Americans today. Photographs of the 1980s and 1990s, many the results of the artists' personal engagement with their own communities, form the second major focus of the exhibition.
The Power of PlaceReservation X
Reservation X investigates the complex relationship between community and identity through seven large-scale art installations that make innovative use of photography, film, audio recordings, CD-ROM, sculpture, and painting. The featured artists are Mary Longman (Saulteaux), Nora Naranjo-Morse (Tewa), Marianne Nicolson (Kwakwaka'wakw), Shelley Niro (Mohawk), Jolene Rickard (Tuscarora), Mateo Romero (Tewa), and C. Maxx Stevens (Seminole). Through their individual creations, these artists generate a collective commentary on the power of place and the realities of everyday life for religious and racial minorities. Although their ideas of and experiences with community reflect very different perspectives, all of these artists recognize their affinities with a Native American identity and rely upon the power of art to express them.
Untitled (Elihu Vedder and Fumio Yoshimura)