Logótipo Próximo Futuro

"Encounters and Collisions", de Glen Ligon aborda as questões da negritude

Publicado7 Abr 2015

Etiquetas Negritude Glen Ligon

"Encounters and Collisions" é a exposição de Glen Ligon, "o artista preferido de Barack Obama", na Nottingham Contemporary, em Londres, onde o artista, americano, convoca, de forma critica, as ideias de negritude, homossexualidade e os ícones das lutas pelos direitos humanos. 

Ligon’s art, with its melancholy neon signs and dense, stencilled canvases, probes black representation, the complex terrain of race and homosexuality, and above all the grand promise – and less beautiful reality – of America. You can see reflections of his own career in the artists he’s chosen, but the show doesn’t treat the art of the past as mere source material. “It’s about the broad influences on an artist’s work,” Ligon says. “Rather than: Richard Serra uses oil stick – you use oil stick! People can walk in and go, ‘Oooh, this is a nice group show!’ But the bigger issue, the bigger takeaway, is the notion of a community of artists.”

Ligon has fleshed out his portrait of himself and his country with photographs that document the upheavals his fellow artists lived through. “Much of my work is engaged with ‘America’ – the idea of America. So it seemed interesting to think beyond art, to think of documents from various periods that were formative for me and the country as a whole.”

Hence the inclusion of Bruce Davidson’s shot of two muscular Guardian Angels in tight singlets patrolling the New York subway in the crime-gripped 1980s – and a Stephen Shames photograph of Black Panther founder Huey P Newton, topless and listening to Bob Dylan, which touches on both the struggle for civil rights and the way black men are depicted, feared, or desired. “He was incredibly charismatic,” says Ligon of Newton. “And sexy. The Panthers were very aware of his appeal. That’s what interests me: this black masculinity.”

He's Barack Obama's favourite artist. But is Britain ready for Glenn Ligon?