Question Bridge: Black Males by artists Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair is an innovative, widely exhibited multimedia project that uses video to facilitate a conversation among Black men from twelve cities across the United States. Presented by the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery, in partnership with the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, the five-screen video installation will be on view February 6- April 6, 2019.
(Closed March 23- April 1 for Spring Break)
This exhibition installation provides a safe setting for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite and puzzle black males today in the United States.
Question Bridge originated in 1996, when artist Chris Johnson was looking for a way to use new media art to generate a meaningful conversation around class and generational divisions within San Diego’s African American community. Mediated through the lens of a video camera, ten members of the black community were provided a format to openly express their deeply felt beliefs and values through candid question and answer exchanges. None of the questions or answers were prompted. Over the course of four years, Johnson, along with Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, have traveled the nation collecting questions and answers from over 150 Black men in eight cities (New York, Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Birmingham, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Philadelphia) that comprise a video catalog of 1,500 exchanges. By focusing on exchanges within this extended community, surprising insights and new possibilities for witnessing our common humanity emerge.
Related Event with Question Bridge artists in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California:
R.A.P. Lessons: Bridging Race, Arts, and Placemaking
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 6 pm to 9 pm
Question Bridge website:
"It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness, — an American, a Negro; two warring souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder."
—W.E.B. Du Bois
Question Bridge: Black Males was created by Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. The Executive Producers are Delroy Lindo, Deborah Willis and Jesse Williams. The Post-Production Producer is Will Sylvester and the Supervising Story Producer is Rosa White.
Gallery hours are Tuesday– Saturday noon to 5pm and Wednesdays until 8pm during the academic year or by appointment for special tours.