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Black Light
California College of the Arts (CCA)

March 16–May 14, 2017

Opening: Thursday, March 16, 6:30–8.30pm

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Kent and Vicki Logan Galleries
360 Kansas Street (at 16th)
San Francisco, CA 94103

T 415 355 9670

www.wattis.org

Above: Rodney McMillian, red dust between, 2017. Courtesy of Rodney McMillian and Maccarone, New York/Los Angeles. Photo: Josh White.
Above: Rodney McMillian, red dust between, 2017. Courtesy of Rodney McMillian and Maccarone, New York/Los Angeles. Photo: Josh White.

March 16–May 14, 2017

Opening: Thursday, March 16, 6:30–8.30pm

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Kent and Vicki Logan Galleries
360 Kansas Street (at 16th)
San Francisco, CA 94103

T 415 355 9670

www.wattis.org

Black Light converts the gallery space into a forum for conversation and exchange, taking form as a series of events that address the relationship between cultural institutions and black artists. Presented in a purpose-built amphitheater, invited participants will draw on their experiences as artists, art historians, and founders of institutions. Key participants in these events include:

Karon Davis (The Underground Museum, Los Angeles)
Dale Brockman Davis (Brockman Gallery, Los Angeles)
Duane Deterville (art historian and author, Oakland)
Jacqueline Francis (art historian, San Francisco)
Robyn Hillman-Harrigan (Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter, New York)
Marc Bamuthi Joseph (Chief of Program and Pedagogy at YBCA, San Francisco)
Rasheedah Phillips (Community Futures Lab, Philadelphia)

The project draws its title from a series of paintings created by the artist Faith Ringgold during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s (Black Light, 1967–71). Informed by Ringgold’s legacy as well as the current political climate, Black Light poses questions about how to re-conceptualize cultural representation, engagement, and critique: what spaces for agency are available to black artists today, and by what means have they produced spaces for themselves? What models does history offer artists working now? What role do institutions play? How do communities make themselves visible?

The events will be anchored by a single, large-scale abstract painting, red dust between (2017), by the Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian. Painted on a discarded bed sheet, the work imagines contemporary society—and especially the conditions of black life in America today—as a disorienting and dark fairytale, but also offers hope in its suggestion of the redemptive possibilities of reclaiming and repurposing abandoned materials.

Publication
An accompanying publication gathers new interviews with Dale Brockman Davis, Karon Davis, Rasheedah Phillips, and a conversation between representatives of Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter. The publication will also feature commissioned artwork by Robyn Hillman-Harrigan of Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter in the form of annotated texts and images.

Selected programming:

March 30
In Conversation: Dale Brockman Davis and Duane Deterville
On the overlapping histories of black artist-run spaces in Los Angeles and Oakland since the 1960s

April 14
Occupying Space
Andrianna Campbell and Robyn Hillman-Harrigan will explore the fraught relationship between space and power

April 21
Black Joy is Unstoppable
Marc Bamuthi Joseph discusses his artistic practice in relation to organizations he’s helped create, including Life is Living

Visit the Black Light Kickstarter and Facebook page for full details and up-to-date program information.

About CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice
Founded in 2003, CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice offers an expanded perspective on curating contemporary art and culture. Alongside traditional forms of exhibition making, this two-year master’s degree program emphasizes the momentous impact over the last half-century of artist-led initiatives, public art projects, site-specific commissions, and other experimental endeavors that take place beyond the confines of established venues.

About the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art. It was founded in 1998 at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. As an exhibition space, the Wattis Institute commissions and shows new work by artists from around the world. As a research institute, it dedicates an entire year to reflecting on the work of a single artist, which informs a regular series of public events, texts, and research by other relevant artists and thinkers.

 

Black Light at California College of the Arts (CCA)

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March 2, 2017