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Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) announces REkOGNIZE, a new multichannel video work by artist and Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young (Selma, Arrival). Part of the Hillman Photography Initiative’s LIGHTIME, the work will be installed in CMOA’s Scaife Galleries of contemporary art, opening June 16.
REkOGNIZE is a meditation on photography, memory, and movement. Young finds inspiration in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood, a site of the early 20th-century Great Migration. During this time, millions of African Americans moved from the rural southern United States to cities in the north and west. The Hill District saw a flourishing of culture during these years and was a site of artistic development for luminaries such as August Wilson, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Errol Garner, and many others. REkOGNIZE takes its visual cues from the Pittsburgh landscape, especially the city’s tunnels, which serve not only as literal entry points into the city, but also as metaphors for this movement of people and culture.
The work is three-channel video featuring Young’s footage of the Hill District, shots of Pittsburgh’s tunnels, and a translation of several Teenie Harris photographs into matrices of metadata. This digital code is also the basis for the work’s musical score by jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran. Young is a constant collaborator across artistic disciplines, working with Creative Time, artist Leslie Hewitt, and director Ava DuVernay, as well as musicians Common and Gingger Shankar, among others. For REkOGNIZE, Moran picks up on the patterns and visual rhythms found within the code, creating music that enters into conversation with Young’s imagery. Young and Moran’s interdisciplinary approach to Harris’s images asks us to reflect on the power of photographs from the past to inspire work today. In doing so, they blur the boundaries between still and moving image, analog and digital, and visual and auditory experiences.
For its June 16 debut, Young hosts a screening and discussion of Black America Again, a short film directed by Young featuring Common. The discussion places REkOGNIZE in the context of his larger practice, which shares a focus on community, memory, and ritual.
The work is part of LIGHTIME, a year of programming from the Hillman Photography Initiative. At its essence—and since its beginnings—photography measures light and time. The four artist projects unfolding in 2017 expand upon this notion, using it as a springboard to investigate contemporary social issues.
REkOGNIZE is commissioned by the Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art. Support for the Hillman Photography Initiative is provided by the William T. Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.
General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.
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