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Lorraine O'Grady

Lorraine O'Grady, Art Is. . . (Girlfriends Times Two), 1983/2009

Lorraine O'Grady included in the group exhbiiton Picturing Black Girlhood: Moments of Possiblity at Paul Robeson Galleries at Express Newark, Rutgers University–Newark, NJ.

The institution's press release follows: 

Picturing Black Girlhood: Moments of Possiblity is an international exhibition that features more than eighty Black women, girls, and genderqueer artists—ranging in age from 8 to 94—who work in the mediums of photography and film and have a sustained practice exploring the theme of Black girlhood. By bringing together iconic image-makers, emerging artists, and young photographers (over half the artists in the show are under 18), the show considers Black girlhood as an essential stage of development, an integral moment of political awakening, an embattled site of representation, and a critical source of artistic inspiration around the world. 

Comprising all three main exhibition floors of Express Newark at Rutgers University-Newark,  this show restages intimate Black girl coming-of-age narratives made in the reifying lens of Black women and genderqueer artists and the real-time experiences and perspectives of Black girls themselves. The images made by Black women photographers and filmmakers are placed alongside those made by Black girls. The result is a disruption of traditional art world hierarchies and a centering of Black girls as subjects, artists, and agents of their own lives. 

Picturing Black Girlhood: Moments of Possiblity is reflective of our times. In our current period of pandemic and racial reckoning, these artists offer us intimacy, rest, renewal, connection, and exaltation as answers and aesthetics of freedom. These images and films demand that we witness the full breadth of Black girls and gender-expansive youth on their own terms—and those of the people they will soon become.

Picturing Black Girlhood: Moments of Possibility was curated by Scheherazade Tillet and Zoraida Lopez-Diago.