(9.11) Conceptual photographer Hank Willis Thomas is known for commandeering American advertising strategies in order to challenge constructions of race and gender in the United States. In Hank Willis Thomas: Primary Sources the artist brings together mix media sculptures, retro-reflective screenprints, and a five channel video installation of James Baldwin’s prescient social criticisms. The Brown Daily Herald notes that in addition to the bronze sculpture of drowning men,
The exhibit also features seemingly traditional photos that, upon closer examination, reveal hidden messages in their play with different media. A pair of portraits of silicone, fiberglass and metal finish called “Amandla” feature a black youth carrying chairs away from a blaze and another carrying an inverted American flag in his fist. Though the subjects hold the realism of a photo, their backgrounds are glossy, ill-defined spaces that reflect the viewer’s gaze.
Opening reception 6:30pm to 8pm. Exhibition runs through October 25th.
Artist talk, 5:30pm to 6:30pm, Friday, September 11, Bell Gallery, List Art Center, 64 College Street (directions)