Theaster Gates: 'Tis So Sweet Or I Need Sugar Lawd
April 25, 2013 6:30pm in the Museum’s Steiner Auditorium
Artist, activist, and urban-planner Theaster Gates will perform with The Black Monks of Mississippi, an ensemble of musicians who employ a variety of musical traditions, which range from spirituals, blues, gospel and Buddhist and Zen chants. The performance will connect with the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church using as inspiration media coverage of the incident, as well as archival materials of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement.
For 'Tis So Sweet or I Need Sugar Lawd, Gates will imagine a set of musical encounters that examine the relationship between human desire, public ecstasy and artistic practice. With musical support from the Black Monks of Mississippi, Gates will share new stories from the north, old stories from the east, and nearly audible fragments from the eternal. This body of work will be recorded live and will be the basis for Gates' most recent performative endeavor "Songs From the Storefront.”
Seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis!
Etched in Collective History
August 18–November 17, 2013 // Jemison Galleries
Etched in Collective History presents artists who interrogate, depict, and memorialize the Civil Rights Movement. The Movement inspired a number of artists to participate physically, in marches and sit-ins, as well as creatively, through the act of making art. This exhibition acknowledges these artists, the generations that came after, and most importantly the four young girls— Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley—who died in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing.
The bombing will be situated in relation to the 1950s and 1960s, taking into consideration the events that occurred before and after the tragedy. Additionally, the exhibit will reflect a multi-generational response to both the Civil Rights Movement and the bombing itself. This framework presents a number of voices: multiple viewpoints are needed to understand the impact of racial intolerance and racism against African Americans in this period. These various voices will include male and female artists, as well as local and national artists. With this approach, the audience will learn that there are a number of ways of understanding this period, from a heterogeneous group, thus challenging singular interpretations of history and African Americans.
Etched in Collective History is presented by Regions Bank; additional support provided by Walter Energy.
Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project
September 8 – December 2, 2013
Acclaimed portrait photographer Dawoud Bey presents an exhibition that symbolically commemorates the four young girls whose lives were senselessly lost on September 15, 1963, in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, as well as the two Birmingham boys who lost their lives in the resulting violence that day, Virgil Ware and Johnny Robinson.
To create the portraits, Bey will photograph girls, women, boys and men who presently live in Birmingham. These girls and boys will be the same ages (11, 13, 14, and 16) as the children who lost their lives that day in 1963, and the women and men will be the ages of those boys and girls if they were still alive today. Without specifically referencing these incidents, the project serves as both a memorial to lives lost, and as a message of hope and promise for the future.
The Birmingham Project is presented by PNC Bank; the catalogue is sponsored by EBSCO Media.
Question Bridge: Black Males
Hank Willis Thomas, Chris Johnson, Bayete Ross Smith, Kamal Sinclair // October 6 – December 29, 2013
Question Bridge is a trans-media art project that counters established notions of Black masculinity in the United States. The project presents more than three hours of videotaped interviews with several dozen Black men, who are seen on multiple video screens. As a multi-generational and cross-national project, Question Bridge addresses pressing issues that Black men face in the United States. Men from Birmingham are included in this dialogue that encompasses issues of race, class, sexuality, and economic status, asking questions that are political, humorous, painful, and poignant. Visitors are invited to experience an intimate exchange between subjects of the project. The installation creates a platform for participants to represent and redefine Black male identity in America.
Thank You To Our Sponsors
Art Speaks: 50 Years Forward is sponsored by Alabama Power Company, Protective Life Foundation, the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office, and Vulcan Materials Company. Additional support for individual exhibitions is provided by Regions Bank and Walter Energy (Etched in Collective History), PNC Bank (The Birmingham Project), and EBSCO Media.