On the occasion of publishing the Black Is, Black Ain’t exhibition catalog, the Renaissance Society has organized a symposium revisiting issues raised in the exhibition of the same name, curated by Hamza Walker and shown at the Society in 2008. Given the extent to which race is bound to visual representation, exhibitions have played no small role in instigating discussion. They are where identity has been asserted, critiqued, and dismantled, all in a healthy circular fashion. This symposium’s cast of curators, critics, and scholars will reflect on a series of seminal exhibitions from Black Male (1994) through Blues for Smoke (2012) and the context in which they were mounted, from the riots ensuing in the wake of the Rodney King beating to Obama’s presidential election.
Huey Copeland, moderator, Associate Professor of Art History at Northwestern University
Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem
Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University
Bennett Simpson, Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles
Hamza Walker, Associate Curator and Director of Education at the Renaissance Society