Two artists whose work engages in current community with abundant echoes of the United States’ long historical arch in order to suggest where we’ll find ourselves in the years to come: in celebration of Accra Shepp’s first monograph, Radical Justice: Lifting Every Voice, we are pleased to have him in conversation with Dread Scott.
Shepp’s Radical Justice brings together two bodies of socially-engaged photographic portraiture documented during New York City’s Occupy Wall Street movement starting in 2011 and its racial justice/BLM protests since 2020. His empathetic depictions of fellow citizens standing up for the fair protection of the Constitution provide a prophetic mirror of current events, reflecting back centuries to where the American experiment began, to suggest where we’ll find ourselves in the future.
Scott, no stranger to the power and change possible when art and community intersect, became the center of national controversy in 1989 over his transgressive use of the American flag. His more recent Slave Rebellion Reenactment was a community-engaged project that reenacted the largest rebellion of enslaved people in U.S. history.
Shepp will present from Radical Justice and Scott will join the conversation as they grapple with what it means to stand home, in a place that historically denied your very personhood? How can images and community engagement create revolutionary art to propel history forward?
This event is part of our year-long exploration on the theme of “Home, What does it look like now?” How can we reconsider home in the 21st century as we cross states and borders seeking comfort, safety and identity? Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and state sanctioned violence against black bodies, the Center for Black Visual Culture (CBVC) will explore the significant ways black visual narratives respond to the cultural, dynamic political, social, economic as well intimate changes that force us to (re)interrogate previous conceptions of home.
Cosponsored by the 370J Project, NYU; and the Department of Photography & Imaging, NYU Tisch School of the Arts.