Question Bridge: Black Males

Today, after a couple days filled with lots of lab time and dark room work, we explored a different area of the city, which included the Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO, and, finally, the Brooklyn Museum.

In the Brooklyn Museum we saw an exhibition called Question Bridge: Black Males. One of our two instructors, Bayete Ross Smith, was actually an artist on the project which was worked on periodically for about four years. The project is a series of clips and videos which explored the reactions and responses when black males were addressed and asked questions by other black males via a video camera as a mediator, and then the different responses from a variety of different people on a wide range of subjects from the men’s impact on their family lives to the stereotypes they and their fellow “brothers” are branded with. We sat in a the exhibition and there were five small screens in an ark like formation and the questions and responses flashed onto different ones to keep us engaged, and give a simulation similar to people standing in a circle talking.
This exhibition was truly life changing for me. No exaggeration there. Not only did the presentation show us beautiful piece of art that one of our very talented instructors was an intrical part of creating, but it also helped show me, and I’m sure others in the group, a very real way that art can really move people. Art has the ability to change paradigms. It has the ability to make a difference. It can open new doors to all kinds of people.

I was moved, and I hope those of you that visit it will allow it to move you as well.

Whatever your art is, it can move people. It can make change. You just have to commit to it like these artists did.

This was a post on the wall as we exited the exhibition:

“There is something called black in America, and there is something called white in America, and I know them when I see them, but I will forever be unable to explain the meaning of them, because they are not real, even though they have a very real place in my daily way of seeing, a fundamental relationship to my ever-evolving understanding of history and a critical place in my relationship to humanity.”

– Carl Hancock-Rux


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