A multi-media exhibition exploring the relationships between the works of Gordon Parks and the works of artists he inspired, collaborated with, and drew inspiration from. The exhibition will be on view through December 9, 2017 and exhibits concurrently with BAMPFA's presentation of Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument, on view through December 17, 2017.
Gordon Parks: Legacy features works that inspired contemporary artists, Parks' contemporaries, and Parks himself. The celebrated new video, ELEMENT, released by recording artist Kendrick Lamar, and the portraiture of renowned South African visual activist Zanele Muholi best known for her Somnyama Ngonyama and Faces and Phases series, are directly inspired by Parks' body of work. ELEMENT recasts specific Gordon Parks images of social justice, poverty and politics through a modern lens. Zanele Muholi's photography highlights stories of the massacres, hate crimes and rapes of black South African Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex persons. Similar to Parks in his lifetime, she risks her life by using photography to confront social injustice. Just as Parks' served to humanize the black existence in America, Muholi's work serves to humanize the daily lives of the LGBTI community from 1994 to 2017. Works from Parks' 1952 Life Magazine photo-essay A Man Becomes Invisible, a collaborative project with his friend Ralph Ellison, author of the 1953 National Book Award winning novel Invisible Man, will be presented, along with Parks' compelling filmography Leadbelly, 1976, which chronicles the life of folk and blues musician Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, who inspired Parks. Parks' 1968 short film, Diary of a Harlem Family, will be screened continuously, making a striking counterpoint to this year's ELEMENT. In addition, a film biography detailing Parks' life, Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks, will be screened.
Presented by Jenkins Johnson Gallery