By Sara Chernikoff
Stamp Gallery group exhibition, “Visualizing Narratives: Shaping Resistance,” had its finale showing March 30. The exhibit debuted in mid-February and featured the work of artists from around the country who had unique interpretations of visualizing protests and forms of resistance.
Ali Singer, curator of the exhibit and graduate assistant Stamp Gallery coordinator, said the artists she works on focus on challenging stereotypes around race and representation. They also challenge stereotypes at the intersection of race, gender, class, nationality and sexual identity.
“For the past 10 years or so we’ve seen a lot of protests and rise of resistance movements like Occupy and Black Lives Matter…I chose artists who I thought worked well together on a formal level,” Singer said. “Each of them deals with the idea of media images or images that are mass disseminated.”
The featured artists used photographs and sculptures to create an immersive experience for visitors. They highlight how the media may shape stereotypes as well as how the media creates a narrative that often silences underrepresented voices.
Malik Lloyd is one of the artists whose work was featured in the exhibit. Headline News: 2037 is a series of artwork created to project a futuristic view about the science of melanin.
“The narrative of this artwork is that on December 7, 2037, newspapers throughout the U.S. will headline that scientists have discovered that melanin within the black body has the capacity to heal, beautify, relieve stress and extend life within others,” Lloyd said.
The piece was influenced by propaganda and negative stereotypes that have been used since the creation and advancement of racism.
“Although many of the ‘headlines’ presented in the artwork are provocative and sensational, like most convincing stories, they contain elements of truth,” Malik said.
Tug Collective is another group whose art displayed at the exhibit. The group created “A Taco Stand on Every Corner.” According to Singer, the piece is a response to rhetoric used against Hispanic communities. The group went along the Lewis and Clark trail and photographed empty taco stands. The artwork highlights the hypocrisy of borrowing from other cultures while still rejecting their people who want to migrate to America, said Singer.
Lisa Noll, a senior art history major, is one of several gallery assistants. Noll believes art is an efficient way to inform the public on social and political issues in a visual manner.
“It is important to speak up about social justice and spread it in a way that will help the population be sympathetic towards other people and their narratives,” Noll said. “This exhibition included artists who tell their own stories of racism, prejudice and other social injustices through visuals that I think inform society of its wrongdoings.”