WPKN is celebrating this Black History Month with a rich variety of special programming. With that in mind, February's Live Culture focuses on powerful images relating to politics, past protest, and the traces of History surrounding us. During the first half of the show I am in conversation with curator La Tanya S. Autry, the Marcia Brady Tucker Senior Fellow, in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery, about her latest exhibition Let Us March On: Lee Friedlander and the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. This major show focuses on early civil rights images being exhibited for the first time, in commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the march. Lee Friedlander’s photographs offer a rare glimpse of the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, a critical moment in American civil rights history.
On May 17, 1957 thousands of people united in front of the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D.C. At this first large-scale gathering of African-Americans on the National Mall, elegantly clad protesters called on federal authorities to enforce desegregation, support voting rights, and combat racial violence. Friedlander documented the crowds as well as the illustrious figures who attended or spoke at the march, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Ella Baker, Mahalia Jackson, and Harry Belafonte. La Tanya has organized an exciting roster of events in tandem with the exhibition and we will talk about the work, it's relationship to events and protests today, and the on-going battle for justice in the United States.
During the second half we catch up with artist and curator David Borawski, about his plethora of projects including showing his work in the forthcoming exhibitions: Present Danger at Marymount Manhattan College in New York, Equators, a collaborative art project at the Housatonic Museum in Bridgeport, and the forthcoming Mincing Words: The Tactile Language of Unrest, at The Institute Library, New Haven.
David's conceptually driven installations reflect upon iconic cultural and societal events that have influenced major shifts in our collective consciousness, but which now we may be near the point of forgetting. His immersive works use text, video and mixed media - including found objects - to invoke such charged historic moments as the Black Panther trials in New Haven. He has spoken of past events as being "uncanny precursors to present-day realities", a sentiment which permeates his work. David is also busy organizing exhibitions of other artist's work including Any World That I'm Welcome To, up now at Dehn Gallery at MCC on Main in Manchester, Ct., and Lost and Found, which just closed at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Ct.
- art talk culture