Put to sleep by Angela Davis. Sort of.

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Graffiti artist Alan Ket, Angela Davis and moderator.

Can Angela Davis put you to sleep and bore you to tears? Yes. Sort of. And this happened at a panel entitled Urban Artists and the Politics of Visibility that took place at Pratt Institute in Fort Greene, Brooklyn yesterday. (Yes right in my neighborhood.)

OJ Dingo by Hank Willis Thomas
By Hank Willis Thomas.

But two of Davis' (younger) co-panelists saved the day. The first is Hank Willis Thomas whose work uses the aesthetics and certain themes of advertising to make very non-commercial points. He is interested in how advertising manipulates perceptions of reality.

Groundswell mural 2
Mural by Groundswell.

And then there was Amy Sananman, founder and Executive Director of the Groundswell Community Mural Project. Sananman conceived of the project in 1996 with the mission to bring together professional artists, grassroots organizations and communities to create high quality murals in under-represented neighborhoods.

Dread Scott is known for his controversial use of the American flag in art he hopes "propels history forward". Alan Ket has ben painting graffiti on the New York subway since he was a teenager growing up in Brooklyn.

Work by Dread Scott
By Dread Scott

I took pictures of the various co-panelists's slides which might tell you more about what they had to say.

The irony of it all is that Ms. Davis spoke last, as if to provide context to what the artists were showing. I sat through great presentations expecting she'd be the icing on the cake only to find out this panel was not saving the best for last.

View the slideshow.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, Angela Davis put people to sleep? Her talk must have been pretty boring. I wouldn't mind viewing the discussion. To see if it causes the same effect.

Alice B. said...

Well maybe not everybody but at least me.