Tag Archives: Hamza Walker

Black Is, Black Ain’t Symposium, The Renaissance Society, Chicago

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Black Is, Black Ain’t Symposium and Book Launch 
featuring Huey Copeland, Thelma Golden, Kellie Jones, Bennett Simpson, and Hamza Walker

Sunday, December 8, 2pm
1020 E 58th St – Kent Hall, Room 107 at the University of Chicago

On the occasion of publishing the Black Is, Black Ain’t exhibition catalog, the Renaissance Society has organized a symposium revisiting issues raised in the exhibition of the same name, curated by Hamza Walker and shown at the Society in 2008. Given the extent to which race is bound to visual representation, exhibitions have played no small role in instigating discussion. They are where identity has been asserted, critiqued, and dismantled, all in a healthy circular fashion.

This symposium’s cast of curators, critics, and scholars will reflect on a series of seminal exhibitions from Black Male (1994) through Blues for Smoke (2012) and the context in which they were mounted, from the riots ensuing in the wake of the Rodney King beating to Obama’s presidential election.

Panelists include:
Huey Copeland, moderator, Associate Professor of Art History at Northwestern University

Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem

Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University

Bennett Simpson, Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles

Hamza Walker, Associate Curator and Director of Education at the Renaissance Society

FREE and open to the public.
For more information, visit www.renaissancesociety.org

Generous support provided by The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; the University of Chicago Arts and Public Life Initiative; and The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago.


Suicide Narcissus at The Renaissance Society



Suicide Narcissus

September 15 – December 15, 2013

Opening, Sunday, September 15, 4-7 pm

The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago

Thomas Baumann (Austria) | Haris Epaminonda & Daniel Gustav Cramer (Berlin) | Katie Paterson (London) | Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch (Austria) | Lucy Skaer (London) | Daniel Steegmann Mangrane (Rio De Janeiro)

Maybe the Mayans weren’t referring to an event but a mindset. Although the world did not end in 2012, climate change has forced us to think about our fate as a species, to confront the thought of our extinction wondering if we are an exception. Clearly, the grand evolutionary scheme of things tells us no. Human history relative to natural history amounts to a mere speck in time. The earth was here long before us, and it will be here long after us. Over the 3.5 billion years of life on earth, countless species have come and gone. 

While this is a humbling thought, as the planet’s dominant species, we are less defined by our humility and more by our chauvinism. The will to survive has become the right to survive, a right whose abuse has made startlingly clear the fragile parameters governing terrestrial life. Our ecological crisis taints all facets of our relationship to nature such that culture and our quest for knowledge can only be juxtaposed against reflections on folly, catastrophe and death. Featuring eight artists, Suicide Narcissus is a group exhibition meant to serve as a contemporary vanitas.