The Black Index

Bridget Cooks
African American Studies and Art History
UC Irvine

The Black Index is an exhibition that will be presented in the Contemporary Art Center Gallery in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) at UCI in winter 2021. The artists featured in The Black Index–Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas–counter the assumptions of photography as the most accurate and transparent form for providing visual information about Black subjects. The artists’ alternative visual strategies suggest understandings of Blackness and the racial terms of our neo-liberal condition that are alternatives to legal and popular interpretations. The exhibition debuts at Hunter College in fall 2020, travels to UCI, and continues through 2021 to the Palo Alto Art Center, and the Black Studies Galleries at the University of Texas, Austin.

This project’s community partner is the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. Through its African American Art History Initiative, the GRI has dedicated itself to the study and preservation of African American art history. The GRI’s contribution will support a symposium and series of artist/scholar programs focused on the value of creative Black thought.