An art gallery on Chicago‘s South Side recently unveiled an exhibit that features images related to slain Ferguson teen, Michael Brown. According to the observations from some activists, many feel the depiction of Brown’s body at a police death scene has crossed over the line into being offensive.
The Gallery Guichard unveiled an exhibit from white visual artist Ti-Rock Moore titled Confronting Truths: Wake Up!, which the New Orleans native hopes will ignite deeper conversations abut race, violence and the realities of white privilege. And while Moore’s aims seem to come from a wholly respectful if jarring place, activists are taken her to task for using Black pain and tragedy as a means to express a larger point.
From The Guardian:
The goal of this exhibition, entitled Confronting Truths: Wake Up!, by New Orleans-based artist Ti-Rock Moore is to start a larger discussion on the violence she sees white privilege produce in America from her perspective as a white female artist.
However, the exhibition has also been criticised on the grounds that it exploits the tragedy black Americans face for profit through the artist’s own white privilege.
“I definitely didn’t want to go [at first],” Johnetta “Netta” Elizie, an activist and high profile leader of anti-police violence group We the Protesters told the Guardian after visiting the Chicago gallery. “I felt it would do me no good to go there as far as my spirit is concerned.”
Elizie had read local reports of the installation at the exhibition that vividly recreates the murder scene of Brown, who was shot dead by police officer Darren Wilson and left for hours in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.
But when friends from Ferguson drove to see the exhibition and voice their disdain for something that used the death of Brown as an artwork so soon after the tragedy, she felt she needed to go and support them.
“The artwork was atrocious,” she said. “The way she is using those images is just disgusting.”
There was similar outcry to the exhibit on social media when it made its debut last week, with many saying that the graphic nature of the piece couldn’t possibly communicate the conversation Moore is attempting to have without it triggering outrage.
Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, was attendance at the opening night of the exhibit on July 10. According to the report, she asked that the portion featuring her son be covered.
Photo: Galley Guichard