Gary Dauphin

  • “Declaration”

    The new ICA is about two miles from the onetime residence of Jefferson Davis in one direction, and one and a half miles from Monument Avenue in the other, where a number of statues honor traitors Robert E. Lee, J. E. B. Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, and other sons of the Confederacy. (Richmond is blacker than the rest of Virginia, so space was also made in 1994 for a statue memorializing Arthur Ashe Jr.) The ICA aspires to be Richmond’s leading noncollecting venue, so the question of how a forward-looking

  • Gary Dauphin

    Since 1965, greater Los Angeles has been one of America’s reigning destinations for immigrants; by 2000, more foreign-born people were choosing to settle there than in any other region. Raw numbers and unique forms of migratory aspiration, risk, and synthesis allowed SoCal to capture that era’s predicaments and possibilities in ways other metropolises didn’t.

    Kellie Jones’s fluid, unexpected study, South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s (Duke University Press), considers that story from the standpoint of one very particular set of migrants: African American

  • “SONIC REBELLION: MUSIC AS RESISTANCE”

    The appeals black music makes to the future, to borrow from theorist Kodwo Eshun, are most powerful when black folk are having difficulty imagining any future at all. Few such moments have generated as many forward-looking sounds as the 1967 Detroit riot, a season of unrest set off when the local PD broke up a party and arrested eighty-two black citizens one hot July night. MoCAD’s “Sonic Rebellion” images and re-images the relationship between music and resistance in the intervening fifty years; the show presents a trove of ephemera and documentary materials on Motown,

  • Whitfield Lovell

    The black men and women in Whitfield Lovell’s ongoing series “Kin”—each rendered on cream paper in velvety monochrome conté crayon and paired with gnomic found objects—seem not so much rescued from anonymity as discharged from a bureaucratic purgatory. For nearly twenty years, Lovell has worked from discarded early-twentieth-century ID cards, passports, and mug shots—from any black-and-white portrait at risk of haphazard defacement by stapler, really—and his figurative kin are frozen in time, at sites of fraught systemic and organizational intake.

  • “Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum”

    Six sprawling symbolic “houses” inspired by those of black gay ball culture, including one dedicated to house music legend Frankie Knuckles and one to Muddy Waters; reprinted archival materials from the 1900 Paris Expo’s “Exhibit of American Negroes” in a two-step with correspondence from contemporary figures of note; new works from the artist himself, including a DJ booth, a shrine, and the video House Heads Liberation Training, 2016. With all of the above, Gates heads northeast from his home base on Chicago’s South Side to mount a show that extends his investigations into

  • Nick Broomfield’s Tales of the Grim Sleeper

    HOW MANY WOMEN have been murdered by serial killers in South Los Angeles since the mid-1980s? No one knows. Police favor one number (the official tally is fifty-five, mapping to bodies found), while kin to the hundreds who have gone missing fear that the true figure is far higher.

    Some things about the crimes are known—like the home address of the most infamous of the accused: 1728 West Eighty-First Street. Most other aspects elude us. Lonnie David Franklin Jr., who owns the house at 1728, currently awaits trial for ten homicides, but there is reason to fear he may have killed more than one

  • “Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott”

    Even before photojournalist, director, and author Gordon Parks was “Gordon Parks,” his biographical arc—youthful escape from the black quotidian followed by loving, professional return—seemed as much his subject as whatever might be before his lens. Parks was born in segregated Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1912; in 1950, he went home as Life magazine’s first black photographer to capture the adult circumstances of his elementary school classmates. His document of the pre–Brown v. Board moment wasn’t published (Life covered General MacArthur’s 1951 canning by Truman