Gestures of Refusal: Black Photography and Visual Culture

Presented in partnership with SEEING BLACK

Curated by Contemporary Arts Center’s Resident Curator, Shana M. griffin, Gestures of Refusal: Black Photography and Visual Culture explores the production of Black visual culture, bringing attention to the ways contemporary photographers and visual artists regularly wield the power of the camera and their creative practices to discern, behold, celebrate, and document people, places, events, collective memories, encounters, and other ever-present moments of Blackness that refuse the violence of erasure and subjectivity.

In the introduction of Listening to Images, Black feminist theorist of visual culture and contemporary art Tina M. Campt states: “For blacks in the diaspora, both quiet and quotidian are mobilized as everyday practices of refusal.” Such gestures of refusal, which are neither passive nor restrained, are regularly exercised and creatively engaged by Black photographers and visual artists, who challenge everyday forms of violence, subjectivity, and erasure through the lens of their camera and creative practices.

On View
Saturday Jan 6 – Sunday Sep 15, 2024
JDB 05 12 x 18
Special Thanks:

SEEING BLACK’s Gestures of Refusal: Black Photography and Visual Culture at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, is made possible through major support from an anonymous friend of the CAC, with the additional support of MK Wegmann, Shelby and Susan Russ, Eileen Silvers and Richard Bronstein, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Ella West Freeman Foundation, Keller Family Foundation, and Besthoff Family Foundation. Special thanks to Lidya Araya, Vincent Barraza, Lisa Moore, Michelle Coffey, Josh Casimier, Mia Bailey, Alissa Pivaral, Brenda Marie Osbey, Brice White, Dale Gunnoe, Ruben Rodriguez, Cameron Wood, Jennifer Ward, and Staff and Board of Trustees of the CAC.

Works in Gestures of Refusal are courtesy of the exhibiting artists and from the collections of the Amistad Research Center, Tex Stevens Collection, the New Orleans Public Library, Xavier University of Louisiana Digital Archives and Collections, the Historic New Orleans Collection, and The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate Archives, and the Louisiana Public Broadcasting for PBS Digital Studios and Houston Public Media.The exhibition is supported in part by community partners, including Antenna, Art Conscious, Mr. Wolf Espresso, Paper Machine, PATOIS, PUNCTUATE, and Vizual.

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