Disinhibition: Black Art and Blue Humor

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It Is…Ain’t It? African-American Vernacular and the King’s English: Validation v. Degradation (Articulate), 2007 Graphite On Paper © Courtesy of the Artist
Disinhibition: Black Art and Blue Humor
Curated by: Blake Bradford

5020 S. Cornell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60615
April 13th, 2008 - June 22nd, 2008
Opening: June 9th, 2008 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

South Side
Mon-Thu 9-8; Fri-Sat 9-5; Sun 12-5


Disinhibition: Black Art and Blue Humor, a group exhibition exploring the use of humor as a critical method to forthrightly address societal taboos, prejudice, and stereotypes, will be on view from April 13 to June 22, 2008. Curated by Director of Education Blake Bradford, the exhibition will include works by Elizabeth Axtman, Michael Paul Britto, David Leggett, Dave Mckenzie, Jayson Musson, William Pope.L, and Tamasha Williamson, all of whom employ humor as a candid, cunning, and/or critical means to reflect on society. The blunt honesty of these works is embedded in modes of popular culture and entertainment; yet the works demand critical attention be given to these deeply-rooted issues that condition us from day to day.

Disinhibition is exactly what this show will provide: a method of unrestrained behavior and disregard for cultural constraints. From Axtman's strategic glamorization of race and social injustice to internal questions of participation versus rebellion as depicted in the work of Jayson Musson, the tone of this exhibition ranges from confrontational to contemplative. Treading on ground that is typically avoided for being politically incorrect or taboo, the exhibition creates a space for a dialogue that fosters awareness as well as critique through a palatable comedic trope. Who are today's truth tellers and what are the consequences of their honesty? These questions will be addressed by a group of artists with a knack for dishing out the hard issues with a digestible dose of laughter.