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‘Free as they want to be’: Artists Committed to Memory

Presented by FotoFocus at National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati OH

Ongoing
‘Free as they want to be’: Artists Committed to Memory

Daesha Devón Harris, Don’t you let nobody turn you around, from One More River to Cross, fall 2017. Cotton rag archival pigment print, 40 x 30 inches. © Daesha Devón Harris. Courtesy of the artist

Part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial.

Curated by Deborah Willis, Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and Cheryl Finley, Director of the Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art History at Spelman College

‘Free as they want to be’: Artists Committed to Memory considers the historic and contemporary role that photography and film have played in remembering legacies of slavery and its aftermath and examines the social lives of Black Americans within various places including the land, at home, in photographic albums, at historic sites, and in public memory.

This exhibition acknowledges artists’ constant involvement with efforts to explore the possibilities of freedom and their relationship to it. Their quest to be ‘as free as they want to be’ is envisioned in the subject matter they explore as well as in their persistent drive to innovate aesthetic practices in photographic media. The exhibition presents some 20 artists working in photography, video, silkscreen, projection, and mixed media installation.

Free as they want to be’ is inspired by the words of James Baldwin, the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record, and events of late that have shaped the world as we know it and continue to influence the world as we live in it. The artists selected for this exhibition are on the frontlines, creating, documenting, and writing. The works they have conceived reflect defining moments of our past in the struggle for racial justice and equality.

‘Free as they want to be’ presents an occasion to reflect upon the past, to mark significant defining moments—both triumphs and tragedies—that characterize a people and their experiences in the present, and to propose future possibilities. The artists selected offer images that advance a different sense of empowerment. Their images are thus an integral part of strong narratives as they commemorate endurance, longevity, and accomplishment.

Artists: Terry Adkins, Radcliffe Bailey, J.P. Ball Studio, Sadie Barnette, Dawoud Bey, Sheila Pree Bright, Bisa Butler, Omar Victor Diop, Nona Faustine, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Daesha Devón Harris, Isaac Julien, Catherine Opie, Yelaine Rodriguez, Hank Willis Thomas, Lava Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Wendel White, William Earle Williams

ADMISSION INFO

Free to Passport Holders in October and Center Members; $15 for adults; $13 for seniors (60+); $10.50 for children (3-12); free for children 3 & under

    Official Website

INDIVIDUAL DATES & TIMES*

  • Jan 28, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sat)
  • Jan 29, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sun)
  • Feb 1, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Wed)
  • Feb 2, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Thu)
  • Feb 3, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Fri)
  • Feb 4, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sat)
  • Feb 5, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sun)
  • Feb 8, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Wed)
  • Feb 9, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Thu)
  • Feb 10, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Fri)
  • Feb 11, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sat)
  • Feb 12, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sun)
  • Feb 15, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Wed)
  • Feb 16, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Thu)
  • Feb 17, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Fri)
  • Feb 18, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sat)
  • Feb 19, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sun)
  • Feb 22, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Wed)
  • Feb 23, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Thu)
  • Feb 24, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Fri)
  • Feb 25, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sat)
  • Feb 26, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sun)
  • Mar 1, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Wed)
  • Mar 2, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Thu)
  • Mar 3, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Fri)
  • Mar 4, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sat)
  • Mar 5, 2023 at 10:00 am - 05:00 pm (Sun)
* Event durations (if noted) are approximate. Please check with the presenting organization or venue to confirm start times and duration.

LOCATION

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

50 E Freedom Way , Cincinnati , OH 45202

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