Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts
New York City, NY
The use of state-sanctioned violence against people of color has historically functioned as a warning that death is a suitable consequence for assumed criminality, suspected or otherwise. With the advent of social media and citizen journalism, visuals of these deaths are immediately available and widely shared. While this documentation often serves to protect the individual at risk during both the incident and the ensuing legal process, its repetition maintains a traumatizing effect, especially on communities of color.
The intrusion of this reality on the psyche of oppressed people is central to Selections from Negrophilia, which features meditative, collaged mixed media works by Damon Davis. On exhibition for the first time, the works challenge a grotesque fascination with black death in American culture. Davis’ instinctual works serve as a therapeutic response to these seemingly endless and intentional acts of violence.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.