san-francisco

Mildred Howard

Walter/McBean Gallery

As immune as we have become to the media’s grim recitation of violent events, the death of children still shocks and saddens most of us. Although almost fifteen years have passed since the summer day in 1976 when South African soldiers gunned down black children in Soweto, the memory of that event still has the power to move us—particularly as it has been invoked in Mildred Howard’s installation Ten Little Children Standing in a Line (one got shot, and then there were nine), 1991. Simultaneously a memorial and a plea for the end of racial violence, Howard’s piece is centered around a powerful constellation of related elements made from simple materials. With them, she transforms the chilly neutrality of the gallery/museum space into a meeting place—church, town hall, cemetery—charged with the emotions of love, grief, and anger; a place where the living talk and pray together, and the dead

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