HANK WILLIS THOMAS: Blind Memory and Freedom Isn't Always Beautiful

at SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA

21 February - 20 August 2017

The SCAD Museum of Art presents Blind Memory, a site-specific installation by Hank Willis Thomas in the museum's Jewel Boxes exhibited concurrently with his exhibition "Freedom Isn't Always Beautiful" in the Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies.

Four new works in the exhibition explore the history of the museum complex as a railway depot and its relationship to the agricultural and labor practices of the past. Through the display of commodities that were exported from Savannah during "The Weeping Time" -  a two-day period in March 1857, when 436 men, women and children were auctioned at a racetrack in the city (notable for being the largest sale of human beings in the history of the U.S.) - Thomas calls attention to suppressed or forgotten incidents that were nonetheless instrumental in shaping our contemporary social and political reality.

The SCAD Museum of Art continues to explore Thomas' work through Freedom Isn't Always Beautiful, a concise overview of the artist's socially engaged practice. Composed of works from 2003 to the present, the exhibition explores the artist's interrelated concerns regarding representations of race, the dialectic between images and text, and the genealogy of historic iconographies and their continued relevance.

February 10, 2017