The visit to A Site of Struggle catalyzed many visitors to think about their own identity and positionality in relation to anti-Black violence.
Thank you for the effort, thinking and courage it must have taken to put this exhibition together. I felt that I have been exposed to an important and uncommon (in the “art world”) function of curation. As a non-Black, Asian American art student I’m grateful for this opportunity to confront myself / my role as a viewer from so many different angles in a single space. I’m really thinking about what it means that I am able to “look” and “view” these representations of anti-Black violence.
(From the perspective of a white viewer) The theme of showing anti-Black violence without repeating that violence/voyeurism of the (white) viewer/spectator at a lynching was really striking and impactful…And seeing oneself literally reflected in the Kerry James Marshall piece was powerful. The past is present theme was so clear.
It was hard to see arts and works about lynching. I am currently also reading Caste which also covered this topic. It was shocking to me that postcards with lynching photography were so popular around that time and the norm was encouraging people to witness the act. The exhibition is absolutely informational. Thank you for organizing!
I think the exhibition is great, in the sense that it requires and prompts the viewer to reflect. I personally found the pieces well selected and enjoyed viewing so many different mediums. While the subject matter is steeped in violence, the variety in which the storytelling takes place ensures viewers reflect in a multitude of ways.
I find it depressing and challenging that despite the unquestionable power of these well publicized images of anti-Black violence dating back more than a hundred years, we (the people of the U.S.) continue to perpetrate oppression of African Americans. It’s as if we’ve learned nothing.
I thought it was very shocking to see some of the work because it is a point of view I never really hear in school or much in the public media. I’m glad I got to see this site and see the art. Some of the writings of white people were really shocking and almost gross that people could put their hate into words and actions like that. I think this site has shown where we have come as a society and maybe that we can keep changing as humans.
Hard but important to see – makes me wonder if the most powerful weapon against some of the more explicit and violent expressions of racism is the camera – in particular, the easily accessible cellphone video cameras.
The photos of lynching with the victims photoshopped out really stood out to me. You really had to focus on everything else in the photo-especially the perpetrators.
The dichotomy of brutality and heartbreaking beauty is what stood out for me. My father desegregated hospitals in 1965 throughout the South—I was 14 and that was my first awareness as a young white girl in the South of the horrors of racism. This exhibit is brilliantly conceived, and it is a testament not only to the past, but a warning — a caution if you will—of the rampant racism today.
Beautiful exhibit. To see a relentless, honest documentation of Black violence is so jarring yet captivating. There is this pain that is invoked, looking at this as a Black woman, that is so necessary. I am angry, upset, speechless, and bitter. And I am very thankful for that.
It was difficult to be fully present because of the pain in the room. As a Black woman it churned vile my gut, but I am not upset. You included some of my favorite artists and there was space after to mourn, be angry, grateful and then a little bitter. I ask, are exhibits like these for Black people? Are they to educate others (race, place). Now that I’m bitter what do I do?
Before entering the exhibit, a description of it tells of the subtle versus in-your-face artworks throughout. I very much appreciated the more subtle works which helped draw my attention as a white woman to things I overlook, like heteronormativity in communities of color and the sexualization of Black women. However, the in-your-face pieces could not be mistaken, nor overlooked.
These are things not shown in school. These things are stomach-turning. But these things are necessary to see and reflect upon, so I am grateful for this exhibit.
I came here on a date and did not look ahead of time to see what the exhibits would be. Boy, did I get a surprise. This story needs to be told. It was hard looking at all of the pieces on display and what they represented / reflected, but as a white woman, I know my feelings don’t hold a candle to the hundreds of years of grief, pain, and suffering Black people have experienced.
I love the power in each of the pieces on display in this exhibition. As an African American woman, the violence against Black men, women and children is disheartening; it’s sickening. it’s hurtful to think about what such moments where like for these people. This was a very powerful way to reflect on these parts of our history. Very well put together.
“Can you be Black and look at this photo without fear?” This quote really resonates. The red lipstick worn by the woman embodied in the sculpture is sitting with me. As a Black woman, I really appreciate the moments of care provided throughout this exhibit. Thank you.
Very powerful, made me reflect upon my place in a contemporary way as a white woman. Particularly the artwork of the women as “accessories.” Viewing photographs as part of our ancestry and thinking about how I should act today to combat anti-Blackness.
As a Black woman approaching her 6th decade, sometimes I wonder why I keep doing this to myself.
This exhibit is not only visually striking but provokes a visceral reaction from deep within. As a cis-gendered white male, it makes me feel so guilty, so heartbroken. The works’ beauty juxtaposes these feelings to create a powerful sensation that this exhibit will never allow me to forget. In a word, remarkable.
I will never fully understand the amount of pain and suffering that was endured (and is still being endured) by the Black community. The ambiance of this exhibit was heavy and I felt turbulent with my own thoughts. What can I do to help? Am I not doing enough? How can people be so cruel? Why is this still happening? The capturing of racially motivated violence through these pieces forces you not to look away. It saddens me that pieces like this exist. The Black community suffers too much.