July 8, 2014 - Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts - Testimony
July 8, 2014

Testimony

Andres L. Hernandez, Untitled (from the “Omniscient Eye” series), 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

Testimony
July 9–August 30, 2014

Opening: Wednesday, July 9, 6–8pm

Logan Center Exhibitions
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
University of Chicago 
915 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

T +1 773 702 6082

arts.uchicago.edu

Artists in conversation:
Sunday, July 20, Café Logan, 12–1:30pm
Public discussion with Andres L. Hernandez as part of the ongoing series “Absence is Fullness: A (E)utopian Assembly”

Thursday, July 24, Café Logan, 6–7:30pm
Krista Franklin in conversation with Alexander Weheliye

Wednesday, August 27, Café Logan, 6–7:30pm
David Boykin in conversation with Nicole Mitchell

The University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life initiative, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, and Logan Center Exhibitions present Testimony, an exhibition featuring the 2013/2014 Arts + Public Life/Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture artists-in-residence. Coming from diverse disciplines and approaches but finding common ground in their interest in oral culture (both musical and discursive) David Boykin, Krista Franklin, and Andres L. Hernandez set out to develop ambitious new works that move beyond the act of witnessing towards laying truth claims and also grounding fantasies. 

Testimony—which spans the Logan Center Gallery, the North entrance to the Logan Center, the building’s courtyard and Gidwitz Lobby—makes space for critical reflection and ritual. 

David Boykin’s initiative Sonic Healing Ministries “believes in the power of sound/vibration to transform physical matter.  Thought is a finer vibration that has the potential to shape the physical world, as our thoughts eventually manifest in the physical world.” His project for the exhibition, Drone of Testimony: A Vigil Against US Drone Attacks (2014), produced in collaboration with the sound engineer Angel Elmore, and the researcher and video producer Kasandra Skistad, is a vigil against US military drone attacks.  As the artist writes: “The sonic drone that is created out of the testimony of US military drone attack survivors is a vigil against future attacks.  Some people light a candle, we make a sound.  Let there be a fire always burning, a song always sung, a sound always resonating until this madness stops.  Let there be a Drone of Testimony till there are no more drone attacks.”  

Krista Franklin’s ongoing interest in AfroFuturism and AfroSurrealism has consistently manifested itself through her poetry and collage and she has used the occasion of her residency to extend these methods to the creation of environments, where the energies of multiple authors from the past, present and future combine. “Hybridization is at the core of what I do,” she notes (in an interview with Tempestt Hazel). Developed especially for the exhibition at the Logan Center, her collaborative work, Fantastic (2014), is loosely inspired by the legacy of Detroit’s late and legendary producer and hip-hop artist J Dilla. Working with graffiti artists Kane One and Stef Skills, Franklin sets out to produce an environment that furthers an evolving imaginary.

Andres L. Hernandez’s project Benign Neglect (2014) takes its title from a policy term coined in 1969 by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, President Richard Nixon’s urban advisor, purportedly as a means of ‘easing tensions’ following the Civil Rights Struggle, but widely understood as the institutionalization of a slow and deliberate abandonment of predominantly African-American neighborhoods to poverty and arson.  Hernandez’s project reimagines the resulting vacant lots of Chicago’s Washington Park, using aerial images, not as pure documents but as ‘plans’ for a Zen Garden. Made from the debris collected on the lots in an ongoing practice of walking as research, Hernandez’s ‘garden’ will be constructed in the courtyard of the Logan Center and tended as a rite, a rhythm, and a prompt for dialogue about a wealth of social and spatial possibilities.

A publication featuring an interview with the artists moderated by Tracye Matthews, Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Race Politics and Culture and Monika Szewczyk, Visual Arts Program Curator at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts will be produced on the occasion of the exhibition and available at no charge. 

For more about the artists and their projects during the 2013/2014 Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture Residency, click here.

For more about and applications for the 2014/2015 Artists Residency, click here.

Testimony at the Reva and David Logan Center 
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