Abstract

Abstract:

This essay considers our contemporary era of antiblack racial terror as well as the visual culture that has not only mourned the loss of black life (in this moment) but has also responded to our continual state of emergency. By visual culture, I mean to include, echoing Amelia Jones, everything from painting to photography, installation projects, video and film works, performances, and hybrid practices (i.e., mix of performance, photography, and video). I argue that even in the face of premature death, black people continue to resist and refuse the silencing of their voice and the threat of state-sanctioned violence. From visual and performance artists, amateur and documentary photographers, youth organizers and activists, painters and sculptors, and singers and musicians, we continue to learn what it means to refuse what visual and conceptual artists Carrie Mae Weems calls “the multifaceted arm of the State.” Indeed, Weems, the artist that I focus on in this essay, has visually and performatively refused the violent subjection of black life by placing sustained attention on how, as Huey Copeland reminds us, “race differently inflects every subject’s sense of mortality.”

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4237
Print ISSN
1536-3155
Pages
pp. 82-109
Launched on MUSE
2018-05-22
Open Access
No
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