"Bearing Witness" catalogue


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"Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry" is a multi-venue survey of more than 10 years of work by the husband-and-wife collaborative team Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry organized by the Contemporary Museum and the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) 2009/2010 Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS)

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"Bearing Witness" catalogue

  1. 1. May 8 - July 31, 2010 Contemporary Museum & Maryland Institute College of Art BALTIMORE, MARYL AND
  2. 2. High Hope Baptist Church, Dawson, Georgia, 1962 (a er unknown photographer; United Press International Telephoto, New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, Library of Congress), 2008; from the Whitewash series
  3. 3. Irene Hofmann and George Ciscle Jennie Hirsh Bearing Witness Eva Díaz
  4. 4. Witness: Callbox Tour, 2000; Lower Manha an, NY; installation view
  5. 5. e inspiration for this exhibition began over a year ago with a conversation between George and me as we re ected on the Contemporary’s now twenty-year history, the imprint that each of us has le on the institution and how we might come together to mark the milestone anniversary of this institution. e Contemporary has undergone many changes in its history. And although nine years separate George’s inspiring seven-year tenure as the museum’s founder and rst director and my arrival in 2006 as the institution’s fourth director, our aspirations for the museum align, and we found ourselves with a unique opportunity to collaborate. What followed was my invitation to George to participate in a year-and-a-half-long exhibition series entitled Project 20. Project 20 was conceived as an exhibition program with twenty international artists working in all media and representing some of the most promising talent in contemporary art. Each artist would be selected by one of twenty guest curators former directors, curators and artists featured in the museum’s exhibitions and initiatives. Involving each of the Contemporary’s alumni who signi cantly shaped the museum’s dynamic history, Project 20 celebrates the museum’s visionary and experimental past while looking ahead to its future. My invitation to George resulted in the most ambitious, and for me the most personally meaningful, selection for Project 20. Rather than choosing a single artist, he proposed the innovative curatorial studies course that he developed at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), the Exhibition Development Seminar (EDS), which charges art students with curating a professional exhibition. George’s bold choice strongly re ected his curatorial and pedagogical vision, allowing him to re-enact the spirit of the Contemporary’s original mission: to challenge traditional exhibition models and to bring artists’ work directly into the community. I had been following the work of Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry with increasing interest for nearly ten years. I knew that their powerful videos about their experience as an interracial couple, their public projects engaged with challenging urban concerns and their paintings exploring the imagery of the Civil Rights Movement would be a natural t for EDS. eir work represented an opportunity to expose the students to community-based work and to the challenge of re-siting many previously site-speci c works in new contexts. As they considered the artists’ work in dialogue with Baltimore and its history, the students acquired an understanding of the Contemporary’s mission and unique approach to exhibition-making. Mindful of the city and the audience, they revised the traditional format and exhibition structure of a mid-career survey, transforming the city of Baltimore into the incredibly rich and varied network that is Bearing Witness. Irene Hofmann, Contemporary Museum Executive Director and Curator, 2006-present and George Ciscle, Contemporary Museum Director, 1989-1996; Curator-in-Residence, MICA, 1997-present
  6. 6. Copasetic (a er Bill “Bojangles” Robinson), 2009; set of four paintings from the Projection series
  7. 7. Like all EDS projects, Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry marks a collaborative e ort between artists, students, and the arts and culture community of Baltimore. In becoming familiar with the work of McCallum and Tarry, my students gained a solid knowledge of the artists’ practice and its place within the larger context of contemporary art as well as an appreciation of what it means to organize a large-scale, mid-career survey from start to nish. Situating this complex body of work in Baltimore required the careful study of diverse institutions throughout the city in order to mount an exhibition of this scale. With the support of their mentors, this group of MICA students bravely embraced the challenge of creating a multi-venue exhibition whose respective installations would stand alone and, at the same time, function as parts of a larger, coherent whole. With this goal in mind, they have mapped out a unique path of art, culture and history for viewers of this show. Working within their respective teams as project managers, graphic designers, curators, educators, Web programmers and site researchers, these students have produced a professional exhibition of the highest quality, achieving their goal of sharing this work with the MICA community as well as Baltimore residents and visitors. Bearing Witness, the fruits of their labor, demonstrates beautifully how art can at once inspire responses and construct new relationships. Put otherwise, while the exquisite form and bold content of McCallum and Tarry’s art provoke powerful reactions, these students have enhanced the spectatorial experience through their consideration of temporary homes for these works. Bearing Witness articulates connections amongst these works, as seen in the thematic shows at the Contemporary Museum and Maryland Art Place, which respectively underscore performance and identity, and the artists’ prolonged engagement with the legacy of slavery in the U.S. In addition to highlighting how site-speci c projects survive in the gallery spaces, Bearing Witness elucidates how work adapts to new environs, preserving its purpose while also morphing its messages to suit a new site. As Eva Díaz has shown, Bearing Witness extends the lives of artworks such as e Evidence of ings Not Seen, e Manhole Cover Project and Bearing by providing fertile ground for growth in the meaning of these works as they acclimatize to their homes at the Carroll Mansion, the Phoenix Shot Tower and e Walters. And the artists’ installation Sacred to the Memory of… at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum exempli es how a cultural gure Billie Holiday stands as a referent for both painful and proud moments in history. Finally, siting Endurance in MICA’s sculptural Brown Center points to the dramatic di erences in the experiences of today’s young people, while the placement of Witness in the Cohen Plaza heightens our awareness of police violence. I am very proud to have worked with such a talented group of students, colleagues and artists who understood from the inception of this project the potential for this premise on both poetic and political levels. Jennie Hirsh, Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Department of Art History, eory & Criticism, MICA
  8. 8. In curating Bearing Witness, we are honored to extend the vision of George Ciscle, who founded the Contemporary Museum in 1989 and established the Exhibition Development Seminar at MICA thirteen years ago. Ciscle’s choice of EDS as his contribution to the Contemporary’s Project 20 allows his educational philosophy and socially charged conception of curatorial work to converge. As students working with established artists in an exceptional curatorial and pedagogical paradigm, we are commi ed to Ciscle’s vision of learning-by-doing. McCallum and Tarry’s art re ects the Contemporary Museum’s mission of commissioning and presenting work that addresses and challenges Baltimore’s diverse population. In fostering relationships with various institutions, we seek to extend our in uence beyond our academic environment and to amplify the voice of contemporary art in Baltimore. We are responsible for every aspect of the project, including curatorial and site research, design and production of print and Web materials, and planning and implementation of educational programming. Guided by team mentors, we are invested in exploring our place in the Baltimore community and in engaging artists, students, museums and galleries through creative curatorial practice. Our process began with two tracks of research. e rst took us deep into more than a decade of artistic production by McCallum and Tarry. e second took us into Baltimore in search of locations for a multi-venue exhibition. We explored possible sites by studying the city and its institutions; we examined maps, consulted archives, accessed resources of the Maryland Historical Society and a ended Baltimore Heritage lectures. Our research lead us onto the streets, to public and private venues, including churches, abandoned theatres, museums, public parks, tourist sites, storefronts and historic districts. We considered factors such as location, historical connections to the artists’ work, accessibility, safety and logistics; over time, a diverse group of viable locations emerged for the artists and curators to consider. In making selections for this exhibition, we worked closely with the artists to understand their practice, the original contexts of their installations and how to translate these projects to new institutions. We sited works at seven locations, drawing connections between the artworks and the venues’ collections, histories, missions and locations. In addition to ve venues that showcase single large-scale installations, two venues permi ed larger groupings of works. Civil rights, race representation and histories of slavery became prevailing themes at MAP, while self-portraiture, contemporary racial identity and media stereotypes became the focus of the Contemporary. e resulting installations of originally site-speci c works provide a comprehensive look at McCallum and Tarry’s career and generate dialogues between previously separate projects. With Bearing Witness, we hope to inform and enrich the visitor’s experience and understanding of Baltimore as well as to initiate discussions about issues raised by the artists’ powerful works.
  9. 9. Untitled (Bradley Front), 2006; Cut series Untitled (Jacqueline Front with Hands), 2006; Cut series
  10. 10. A collaborative artist team since 1998, Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry have worked and exhibited globally, seeking to surface and discuss issues revolving around marginalized members of society. eir work, which takes many forms large-scale public projects, performance, sculpture, painting, photography, video and self-portraiture challenges audiences to face issues of race and social justice in communities, history and the family. Deeply embedded in their work is a sense of personal and social heritage, which not only connects the work to the location where it is viewed, but also invites spectators to relate their own experiences to the themes that McCallum and Tarry present. Site-speci city is an integral aspect of their work; for each piece, the location in which the artists display the work speaks volumes in support of their conceptual framework. Some of McCallum and Tarry’s recent exhibitions include Prospect.1 New Orleans, 2008, Legacies: Contemporary Artists Re ect on Slavery, New York Historical Society, 2006 and Witness: Perspectives on Police Violence, e Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY, 2000. Recent solo exhibitions include Caren Golden Fine Arts, New York, Kinkead Contemporary, Los Angeles and Kiang Gallery, Atlanta. In addition to their gallery exhibitions, McCallum and Tarry have been invited to realize large-scale civic and public works, and most recently have been awarded the commission to create a Malcolm X memorial for the intersection of New York’s Central Park and Malcolm X Boulevard. McCallum holds an MFA from Yale University, and Tarry completed the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2003. e artists live and work in Brooklyn, New York. We would like to extend our gratitude to Irene Hofmann for her invitation to work with the Contemporary Museum, and for her vision to form an alliance with George Ciscle and Jennie Hirsh of MICA to guide the EDS students in presenting a survey of our past work and commissioning a new video. e pedagogical values of this program and the collective challenge of mounting this exhibition are formidable; the students and their mentors have earned our respect for their tireless energy and enthusiasm. Our practice does not represent the myth of ‘artists laboring alone in the studio’; rather, it is shaped by a network of individuals who have worked with us over the years to realize our vision. We give special thanks to Ma hew McGuinness, who has been there from the beginning, as well as Brian Harne y, Andrei Kallaur, Sara Odam, Gavin Rosenberg, David Schweizer, Kelly Song, Je Sturges, Imani Uzuri, Patricia Vasquez, Roy Wilson, Ben Zimbric and countless others who contributed to speci c projects. We would also like to thank Simon Watson for his longstanding support of and belief in our work, Masashi Shiobara and Sachiko Iwase of Nichido Contemporary Art in Japan, and Nordine Zidoun and Leonor Comin of Galerie Nordine Zidoun in Europe for their continued representation, as well as Caren Golden, Leigh Conner, Marcello Marvelli, John Kinkead, Marilyn Kiang and Lisa Dent for presenting our work at critical moments in our career. And lastly, we would like to thank our son Otis for his inspiration as we continue to navigate this journey. Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry
  11. 11. Hebrews 11:1 When I moved to North Carolina as a girl, my grandmother began taking me on road trips throughout the South. Born in Beaumont, Texas near the Louisiana border, she remains a deep partisan of the “Southern cause,” at times to a degree that you might scarcely imagine she was born in the twentieth century, not in a more august era of Southern glory. Our trips brought us to celebrated period homes, to antebellum plantations, and to the historic monuments and ba le elds of the War Between the States, as she always called the Civil War. Touring those mansions with groups of curious retirees and Daughters of the Confederacy types, a great deal of delight was given voice by visitors remarking on the opulence of these faultlessly restored spaces. I don’t know how enlightened such tours are today, but in the 1980s the narrative was of a genteel lifestyle of hospitality, taste and re nement in short, “Southern Living” brought crashing down by the War of Northern Aggression, etc., etc. As the plantation tours wound down in the breezes of lovely verandahs and under towering colonnades, the entire economic substructure of the lavish prosperity on display was dispatched with a passing gesture to the outbuildings in which “the help” had lived and cooked for the big house. But even as a child, I knew that slavery was the elephant in the drawing room. Karl Marx once famously said that capital comes into the world dripping with blood and dirt. Undoubtedly, the wealth extracted from human bondage has erected some of the most extravagant architectural fronts to mask its ignoble origin in the “peculiar institution” of slavery and its continuation in policies of racial segregation and Jim Crow. Artists Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry brought their work e Evidence of ings Not Seen (2008) to a similarly embellished plantation space in New Orleans, Louisiana, and have again installed it in an early nineteenth-century period home in Baltimore, Maryland. In its rst incarnation as part of the exhibition Prospect.1 New Orleans in 2008, Evidence was sited at the African American Museum in the Tremé Villa, an antebellum mansion constructed in 1828. e work consists of 104 portraits, drawn from the available mug shots of a recently unearthed cache in the Montgomery County Sheri ’s Department of the nearly 150 civil rights protesters arrested throughout the 1955-1956 Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boyco s against racial segregation. McCallum and Tarry’s installation in New Orleans deployed brilliant chandeliers and regal claret one could even say blood-colored walls to dramatize the distinction between the criminalized protesters and the backdrop of opulent architecture. is contrast was heightened, indeed echoed, by the fact that each portrait is itself a split image: the sepia-toned, oil-on-linen paintings of arrestees are overlaid with a second, printed photographic layer. Rendered on the translucent silk scrim that is McCallum and Tarry’s signature process, this subtle, iridescent lm reproduces the original photographic mug shot of the arrestee, including the police identi cation number. Accompanying the salon-style installation of these variously sized, rectangular and oval works was a sound component with two voices, call-and-response style, listing the names of those depicted. McCallum and Tarry’s portraits represent men and e Evidence of ings Not Seen, 2008; Prospect.1 New Orleans; New Orleans, LA; installation view
  12. 12. women of all ages dressed in their Sunday best, along with men in military and ecclesiastic uniforms. Familiar faces a sweet, boyish Martin Luther King, Jr., noted civil rights leader Ralph D. Abernathy and boyco -initiator Rosa Parks, with a ower in her hair are recognizable among dozens of everyday citizens who also chose to present themselves at the Montgomery courthouse in the spring of 1956, a er being indicted under the imsy charge of violating a 1921 statute that prohibited boyco s “without just cause or legal excuse.” From May through July 2010, these works will hang in the ground- oor rooms and hallways of the Charles Carroll Mansion in Baltimore’s Historic Jonestown neighborhood, adjacent to Li le Italy and the Inner Harbor. is house, built between 1804 and 1808, was the winter residence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence and one of the edgling nation’s wealthiest men. Recognized as the nation’s largest slaveholder at the time of the American Revolution, Carroll owned between 400 and 500 slaves in the 1770s. us Evidence moves from one fraught site in the history of African American labor to another. McCallum and Tarry are married and live in Brooklyn, New York; they have collaborated artistically since 1998. Tarry is African American, and McCallum is of European descent. Much of their work confronts the legacy of racism in the United States, sometimes by probing the history of de jure legislation, and later de facto prohibitions, against interracial relationships. In some instances, they build on speci c circumstances about the locations in which they have been invited to exhibit in order to produce new work that considers histories of racial discrimination, incidents of legal injustice and pa erns of economic inequality. In a move of virtually unprecedented scope, twenty ne arts students from the Maryland Institute College of Art have collaborated with six of Baltimore’s institutions of arts and culture to mount the mid-career retrospective Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry. ese venues include the Contemporary Museum, Carroll Museums (comprising the Carroll Mansion and the nearby Phoenix Shot Tower), Maryland Art Place, Maryland Institute College of Art, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture and e Walters Art Museum. In sum, Bearing Witness presents more than 150 individual works from seventeen of the artists’ di erent series.
  13. 13. Because the projects McCallum and Tarry undertake frequently relate to the local contexts for which they were commissioned and at which they were originally exhibited, mounting a survey of their work presents challenges. is citywide collaboration features locations that creatively juxtapose their work with aspects of Baltimore’s local histories, themselves rich with themes at the heart of the artists’ practice. For example, McCallum and Tarry’s 2006 project Bearing, like e Evidence of ings Not Seen, addressed a local context in its original conception. First created in response to the Medieval and Early Renaissance galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, these seven silk scrims of richly rear-lit portraits of African American teenage mothers depicted before gold-leaf backdrops are currently reinstalled in e Walters Art Museum, along with an audio component featuring a sound collage of interviews of the images’ subjects.1 Because e Walters contains a strong collection of Ethiopian Christian artifacts, hanging these larger-than-life portraits of women, alone or with their children, alongside historical religious images of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus makes for a compelling artistic conversation between di erent temporal periods and cultural events. And, for the duration of Bearing Witness, the Phoenix Shot Tower (sometimes known as the Old Baltimore Shot Tower) likewise houses a portion of a project concerning gun violence. e Phoenix Shot Tower was the tallest building in the U.S. until 1846; erected in 1828, it rises 215 feet 9 inches and was used to produce “drop” shot for small game hunting and other purposes. In its original incarnation at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, e Manhole Cover Project: A Gun Legacy consisted of 228 custom-designed manhole covers that together weighed 39,216 pounds. is was equal to the exact weight of the 11,194 guns con scated by Connecticut law enforcement that were melted down as scrap between January 1, 1992, and July 31, 1996, the period preceding the display of stacks of the manholes on wooden pale es in front of the Wadsworth.2 In its new version in Baltimore, a selection of the manhole covers, along with an audio component of the work including testimonies by Hartford residents a ected by gun violence, sits inside the base of the Shot Tower. Together with many of the other McCallum and Tarry projects included in this retrospective, works such as e Evidence of ings Not Seen, Bearing and e Manhole Cover Project pressure the notion of site into a temporal dimension activated by each new curatorial contextualization. this and opposite page: e Manhole Cover Project: A Gun Legacy, 1996; detail
  14. 14. Using the installation of e Evidence of ings Not Seen as a case study the piece using the civil rights struggle in 1950s Alabama as its source material, rst exhibited in New Orleans and now displayed at the Carroll Mansion one can see how art practices that have come to be known as “site-speci c” may come to concern themselves with more than site alone. ese works image and imagine narratives about the present and past in ways akin to the kind of civic and cultural representation that was once embodied in history painting. A be er designation for these works might be historically-speci c, or even memory-speci c. “Site-speci c” has been used to describe art practices created in response to conditions particular to the location in which they are exhibited. Beyond that rather general de nition, many have quibbled over how to be more specific about the term site-specificity. According to art historian Tom Crow, site-speci c artworks are most compelling when they are temporary–that is, when they comment on the dynamic spatial and institutional parameters of the sites for which they are conceived and in which they are displayed.3 Widening this relatively narrow de nition 1 of the term, art historian Miwon Kwon extends the notion of site-speci city beyond the merely temporary, into what she termed “discursive” sites.4 In this, she means that the work participates in a longer arc of research and discussion connected to the socio-historical context of the work’s production and reception. I would like to push her de nition of site further to understand how artworks represent events of the past, that is, how in this process they create historical memory and how they continue to do so after the works have been completed. Often, and this is particularly evident in McCallum and Tarry’s work, this e ort of representing past events foregrounds not only the historical episodes to which the work topically addresses itself, but also emphasizes the time and site in which the work is exhibited, and makes connections to future contexts in which the work might be displayed. at is not to say that the element of space implied in the phrase “site-speci c” is unimportant. Instead, I want to emphasize that the diachronic axis of time and process becomes ever more important as the works travel to various venues beyond their rst. To return to e Evidence of ings Not Seen, a rst, striking aspect of the work is the ghostly e ect of McCallum and Tarry’s characteristic, two-part image processing. Only the overlaid, silk photographic portions of the compositions contain the police ID placards that logged a sequence
  15. 15. beginning with 6691 and continuing through 7133; the paintings resting beneath are free of any criminal markings. Because the painted underlayer di ers only slightly from the photographic scrim, a nearly holographic dimensionality pushes the images far beyond the documentary evidence of their source imagery. Instead, the paintings-cum-photographs become spectral traces of the ever-receding history of Jim Crow. Each image contains a subtle scale shi between its top and bo om layers, producing a complex spatial projection into the viewer’s eld of vision. is complicated image eld triggers a temporal delay in apperception of the work, as the viewer tries to resolve how the image operates materially and visually. A er inspecting the 104 images, the viewer recognizes that every face is of an African American. is was not an easy struggle, nor was it a victory conceded with grace. People fought for their rights and su ered for their labors. ey organized carpools and walked for nearly a year, even in rural areas. King’s house and those of other boyco ers were bombed, and each arrestee faced nes and legal fees. e portraits on display memorialize actions of immeasurable courage, as everyday people mobilized against the seemingly intractable prejudices of Jim Crow. And so the experiential delay in viewing these works is a metaphor that memorializes another kind of delay: the longue durée of the ght for racial justice in the U.S. As Evidence enters a new phase of its existence at Baltimore’s Carroll Mansion, it is worth asking how this new site a ects the work and how the work a ects the new site. In its original iteration, the work not only addressed the history of racial discrimination in the South, but also responded to the sumptuous architecture of antebellum mansions and the histories of slavery, segregation and Jim Crow that were masked by that splendor. Obviously, the current location of e Evidence of ings Not Seen in the former home of the largest slave owner in the U.S. is no coincidence. How does the work, installed in response to speci c social, historical and geographical circumstances of Montgomery, Alabama, and the Tremé district of New Orleans, continue to adapt to new sites two years a er it was rst shown? If we can telescope from the particular to the general, it is clear that Evidence addresses much more than the1955-1956 arrests of African Americans in Montgomery; that e Manhole Cover Project moves beyond a strictly local context and extends into broader debates about gun this and opposite page: e Evidence of ings Not Seen, 2008; detail
  16. 16. control and violence in the U.S.; and that Bearing concerns wider issues of urban poverty and the prevalence of teenage pregnancy among minorities beyond Philadelphia. Yet answering the question I posed about the shi in sites from originary to successive ones might require tracking the “life” of an artwork di erently from how the work has been traditionally understood–to identify how a work is redeployed to re ect on new and future sites, even a er artists have completed their initial intervention. In short, this demands a consideration of the choices and arguments that go into curating a work for and at any potential site. In a certain sense, “white cube” art galleries were conceived as spaces where numerous unrelated art works could be assembled together, thereby conventionalizing such sites as neutral so that the contemplation of the visual elements of the art object could be foregrounded. Of course, no museum or art gallery is ever neutral; but in their unadorned uniformity, modern and contemporary art galleries aspire to a certain placeless-ness: a generalized space of cognitive re ection. But what about works that insist the viewer think about not just the geographical place in which she nds herself, but also the historical place too; about relationships among viewers, works, institutions of display, and local areas and larger communities? Evidence provokes pressing questions about how a curatorial process can extend the life of site-speci c works by transplanting them to new contexts. In this sense, historically-speci c art practices represent a process of using sites as an aid to memory and other things that are experienced but rarely seen. Eva Díaz is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art in the Department of History of Art and Design at Pra Institute in Brooklyn, NY. 1. See Crow, “Site-Speci c Art: e Strong and the Weak,” in Modern Art in the Common Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996): 131-150. 2. Kwon makes this argument in “One Place A er Another: Notes on Site Speci city” in October 80 (Spring 1997): 85-110, and later expands upon it in her book One Place A er Another: Site-Speci c Art and Locational Identity (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004). 3. Originally installed at the FUEL House in Philadelphia, Bearing was sponsored by the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project. 4. e Manhole Cover Project (1996) is a work that predates the partnership between McCallum and Tarry. e curators of Bearing Witness decided to include this work, generally credited solely to McCallum, in a retrospective of both artists as a nod to the generative conversations the work triggered that resulted in McCallum and Tarry’s decision to collaborate.
  17. 17. Evenly Yoked, 2010 Projection, 2009-2010 Whitewash, 2006-2009 Bloodlines, 2007 Exchange, 2007 Cut, 2006 Otis, 2004 Endurance, 2003 Witness, 1999-2000 Bearing, 2006 e Evidence of ings Not Seen, 2008 e Manhole Cover Project: A Gun Legacy, 1996 Sacred to the Memory of...., 2010 Silence, 2001 Looking For: a slave named..., 2003 Topsy Turvy, 2006 Whitewash, 2006 Within Our Gates, 2003
  18. 18. e Contemporary Museum, the primary venue for Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, is a small, non-collecting museum devoted to presenting contemporary art. Since its founding on the occasion of the rst Day Without Art in 1989 marked by a bold exhibition that explored artistic responses to the AIDS crisis the Contemporary has been an experimental institution, responsive to the cultural, social and political climate of our times, serving as a laboratory for new ideas and new models for contemporary art exhibitions. In its rst decade, the museum became known as a “museum without walls” and presented exhibitions in temporary spaces and in the homes of institutions such as the Peabody Institute and e Walters Art Museum. Today, the Contemporary operates from a lively storefront in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood, continuing to site projects beyond its walls, throughout the city and with partners from around the region. roughout the Contemporary’s history, artist residencies and new commissions have been at the core of the museum’s program producing enduring collaborations with local communities and institutions. e Contemporary Museum is the organizer and primary venue for Bearing Witness. As the centerpiece of this mid- career survey, the Contemporary premieres McCallum and Tarry’s newly commissioned video within the context of a gallery exhibition that underscores the role of autobiography, the archive, performance and masquerade in the artists’ œuvre.
  19. 19. Evenly Yoked, 2010; video still
  20. 20. 2010 high de nition video wih sound In Evenly Yoked (2010), their latest they examine themselves and each other collaborative video endeavor and part of through carefully deployed mirrors the Projection series, McCallum and Tarry on stage and on the wall occupying the explore their relationship as an interracial ambiguous terrain of this connection. couple, this time through the lens of a Facing one another across a dressing table, series of interconnected and historically they re ect on their union and return to a bound narratives. Dressed intermi ently as premarital state in their relationship, playing a contemporary couple on their wedding out the most private of emotions before an day, an aristocratic couple in the antebellum empty theater. Architecturally framed by a south, and a confederate soldier and a literal stage, McCallum and Tarry transform slave, the artists look at race relations on an themselves into thespian players in a intimate scale over time and across space. precarious performance that re ects on the ese three sets of roles permit McCallum pleasures and pitfalls of union. In addition to and Tarry to investigate the tensions of their period make-up and dress, McCallum bond as well as the personal, cultural and and Tarry continue the theme of exchange historical challenges that have informed it seen in their earlier video works, literally as they embody these iconic characters and pu ing on and taking o each other’s black enact their experiences. Seamlessly shi ing and white make-up, conjuring highly charged between the sentiments of brides and grooms images of vaudeville performers and circus on their wedding day, and the prickly power clowns. Despite their self-consciously chosen structures dictated by stereotypes of race and out ts and mutually exchanged complexions, gender in the antebellum south, the artists they remain at once separated not only by a negotiate the intense presence of the painful divisive mirror but also by the very di erences bonds and joyful distinctions inherent in that draw them to one another, di erences their, and indeed all, conjugal relations. that inevitably surface no ma er what their e culmination of their interest in self- roles. us their clever costumes elegant portraiture and a con ation of the intimate and celebratory nature of wedding clothes, and public histories that permeate their the menacing constraints of a corset, marriage, this newly commissioned work and the unmistakable markings of military asserts an array of familiar binaries: white and soldier and slave enable the artists to black, master and slave, husband and wife, look at one another as a means of looking plantation owner and lady of the manor. within themselves as they embrace and As the artists oscillate between these guises, negotiate the most di cult and universal as well as their mutual love and struggle, of all human relations. opposite page, top and bo om: Evenly Yoked, 2010; video stills
  21. 21. 2009-2010 oil on linen, toner on silk McCallum and Tarry’s new Projection series seen in Family Portrait I (a er Imitation of consists of rectangular, oil-on-linen paintings Life, 1934) (2009) and Family Portrait II (a er with the artists’ signature sheer silk overlay. Imitation of Life, 1934) (2009). ese images e imagery for these pronounced but restage critical scenes in John M. Stahls’ chromatically muted canvases stems from Imitation of Life (1934), when a black single the artists’ archival research on lm stills and mother is confronted by her lighter-skinned photographs of stage performances, and thus daughter who, in trying to “pass” as white, o ers a context for their newest video. e rejects not only her racial background but pale e of these paintings is primarily black- also her mother’s love and a ection. and-white, with accents in varying skin tones; e source material for Projection brings the introduction of color establishes depth together theater, performance and cinema and emotional space in the pictorial eld. through works whose subject ma er bridges e Projection series explores the intersection the gap between those media. Iconic gures of race and the entertainment industry appear in a number of these canvases. For by bringing to the fore a panoply of racial example, in Fashion Show (a er Mahogany) stereotypes propagated in theater and and Re ection (a er Mahogany), both from cinema from the 1920s through the 1970s. 2009, Diana Ross struts before a news kiosk Reproducing canonical scenes and iconic loaded with periodicals that mirror her characters drawn from minstrel shows, own image as an up-and-coming fashion blaxploitation lms and more contemporary designer and then on the runway itself. performances provides an opportunity to Likewise, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson appears expose not only the racial tensions at work in a number of canvases as a stage performer within these narratives but also the ways in within lms, such as Copasetic (a er Bill which reproducing these at times hyperbolic “Bojangles” Robinson) (2009). ese paintings images o ers the possibility of dismantling exemplify the dynamic transformations the prejudices that underpin them, pointing enabled by Projection, from still images to racial di erence as a cultural construction. of lms that crystallize the emotional e transparent silk stretched over the oil crises of the narrative to “moving pictures” paintings creates the illusion of movement, that challenge the limits of painting and which alludes to the structure of cinema reverberate with similar drama. e resulting itself. In other words, through McCallum and images in Projection generate a contemplative, Tarry’s double structuring of the pictorial illusionistic forum in which history meets plane, these paintings become cinematic collective memory and nearly forgo en static surfaces, and their subjects re-animated, as images can be revivi ed.
  22. 22. top: Family Portrait I (a er Imitation of Life, 1934), 2009; from the Projection series bo om: Family Portrait II (a er Imitation of Life, 1934); 2009, from the Projection series
  23. 23. Bloodlines, 2007; Caren Golden Fine Art; New York City, NY; installation view
  24. 24. 2006-2009 oil on linen, toner on silk 2007 silkscreen on foil wallpaper with ocking 2007 high de nition video with sound First conceived in 2006, Whitewash is a series for the variety of ways in which memory of variously sized, rectangular oil-on-linen and history are both similar and di erent. paintings with silk overlays. McCallum and Put otherwise, the intersection between the Tarry conducted research for this series in painted and printed images examines the at numerous photographic archives housed times incompatible relationship between at e Library of Congress and e New historical records and memory. In conjuring York Public Library, amongst others. ese an interpretive space between painting and canvases examine the history of race in the photography, these images change according United States through the depiction of social to the viewer’s position relative to the injustice during the civil rights era. e painting, as xed fragments of history are set riveting compositions in Whitewash feature into motion. mesmeric images of brutal a acks on civil At the Contemporary Museum, the artists rights activists, such as the assassinations of have used paintings from the Whitewash civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King, series in an installation that also includes their Jr. and Malcolm X in the 1960s, as well as custom-designed wallpaper Bloodlines and a lesser known but seemingly familiar images. video titled Exchange. Together, these three A striking combination of painting and bodies of work examine the historic echo of photography, the artists’ distinctive process the Civil Rights Movement and the hardships for this series was inspired by the concept that preceded this fraught period in history of ‘whitewashing’ as a means of masking the against the artists’ own family histories. From truth. e trademark technique used in the a distance, this wallpaper appears to be a Whitewash images entails painting the image decorative pa ern that features shimmering on a linen support and then covering the silver, so pinks and blood-red foliage, but painting with a delicate layer of translucent closer inspection reveals that this sumptuous silk with a print of the image on which the wallpaper incorporates images of both of the painted layer was modeled. With an almost artists’ amalgamated blood cells together with three-dimensional e ect, the resulting their respective family crests. doubled image stands as a visual metaphor
  25. 25. top: Funeral for a Klansman, Homestead, Florida, 1923 (a er unknown photographer; New York Public Library Image Collection), 2007; from the Whitewash series bo om: Voting Line (a er unknown photographer; New York Public Library Collection), 2008; from the Whitewash series
  26. 26. Mounting the historically-based Whitewash into slavery in the U.S. and later was used paintings directly onto the Bloodlines in an activist court that challenged wallpaper juxtaposes cultural history with miscegenation laws. is installation at the personal heritage. In Exchange, the self- Contemporary features a selection of the portrait video component of the installation, most recent works from the Whitewash series, McCallum and Tarry explore interracial whose lower, painted layers clearly depict relationships through their own bodies in historical events borne out of racism, such a highly personal and carefully composed as violent responses to political protests, encounter. e two artists identically while their upper silk surfaces contain less clad in blue jeans and crisp, white tailored focused versions of those same images, shirts trimmed with a paisley pa ern, draw thematizing the willful forge ing of such blood from one another’s forearms and horri c events. Reverberating reproductions subsequently “exchange” their blood. As of photographs shot during the civil rights the narrative unfolds, the viewer witnesses era, these Whitewash images document the each artist’s blood traveling through medical trials and tribulations of victims and activists tubing to nally meet that of the other, ghting for racial equality. Taken as a whole, implying that their blood is one and the the aesthetically rich and powerful subject same. Cu ing back and forth between shots ma er featured throughout this installation featuring the artists’ tense faces and shots addresses race on both cultural and personal showing only fragments of their arms, this levels by illuminating the place where social video resonates with individual and collective history meets personal experience, through meaning. Both the video and wallpaper subtly the exploration of the artists’ own families refer to the “One Drop Rule,” according to and their relationship. Considered together, which a person with as li le as “one drop” of the works in this installation examine the black blood in his or her body was considered e ects of time and history on contemporary “colored.” is nineteenth-century law was relationships, and especially the relationship originally instated as a means of increasing the of McCallum and Tarry, as it maps out the slave population of mixed-race children born past, the present and the future. 1 1 Please see the analysis of Whitewash under Maryland Art Place’s entry for further discussion of this series.
  27. 27. this page: Exchange, 2007; video still opposite page: Bloodlines, 2007; detail
  28. 28. 2006 high de nition video with sound Cut is a powerful performance project that e subtle yet haunting audio for the piece encompasses both a video and related still combines the unmistakable, jarring sound photographs. is discom ting self-portrait of hair being slowly sawed with a blade, tracks McCallum and Tarry as they slowly segments of dialogue from the slave-bidding and deliberately cut each other’s hair with a sequence in a cinematic adaptation of Harriet straight-edge razor. A complex and unse ling Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) video, Cut confronts the viewer with an and a poignant French liberation song whose experience that is at once sexually charged, lyrics subtly reference an inspiration for this racially fraught and emotionally layered. work–a photograph of French women whose e encounter between these two carefully hair was cut as punishment for “collaborating choreographed gures is simultaneously an with the enemy” by taking German lovers act of collaboration and dominance. is during the Occupation in World War II. intimate interlude explores the complicated Laden with symbolism, the dangerous terrain of racial and gender stereotypes, blades and shorn heads of the artists in Cut territory that is rife with landmines. e allude to a number of biblical, literary and intensity of the physical and psychological historical references, ranging from the stories trauma for both artists emerges as the video of Samson, Judith and Holofernes, John the shi s abruptly between close-ups of the Baptist and Joan of Arc to harrowing episodes actual act of hair cu ing and wider shots with in world history involving imprisonment, full-body views that allegorically establish a torture and even extermination. broader framework for the narrative.
  29. 29. 2004 16mm lm transferred to video with sound Shot on the eve of the birth of McCallum mother.” e lines spoken by Tarry and Tarry’s son, Otis, this video explores throughout this short but potent piece echo the anxious anticipation of the lifelong trite expressions u ered by frustrated and connections and separations that occur angry parents whose disappointment in their between a mother and her child. is children’s failure to ful ll their fathers’ and minimalist work Tarry appears clad in mothers’ expectations for them fuels what simple, white jersey undergarments and sound like abusive statements, although placed against a black background is a they are sentiments u ered from a source of riveting performance of maternal emotions maternal a ection. In this sense, Otis provides enacted in the absence of lial response. As Tarry with the opportunity to exorcise the artist’s hands intermi ently caress her such sentiments just before the rst violent own swollen abdomen and gesticulate toward experience that she will soon share with her her otherwise invisible child, her body and son as they separate: birth. us, while Otis soul prepare for birth, an event that will mark represents Tarry’s prenatal performance in the beginning of her son’s life and the end of advance of Otis’ arrival, this recital likewise their physical a achment. e monologue of stands as a poetic meditation on motherhood the artist ranges across an emotional expanse more generally, foregrounding the fear and as she embarks on a one-way conversation anger, excitement and joy, that inform the with her yet unborn child, articulating what tenderness and aggression that permeate all she imagines to be the nature of their relation bonds between mothers and their children. then and over time. “I will always be your this page: Otis, 2004; lm still opposite page: Cut, 2006; video still
  30. 30. Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) was founded in 1826 with the continuing mission to educate professional artists and designers. In recent years, the school has seen unprecedented expansion in both its student body and campus, having increased its number of graduates by y percent, added its landmark Gateway building, and increased its public and green spaces. With these new developments, MICA has a rmed its place as a leading institution for the education of artists and designers at the undergraduate and graduate levels. e college is located in Baltimore’s historic Bolton Hill, a residential neighborhood that borders on the cultural district of Mt. Vernon, and is within walking distance of the Lyric Opera House and Meyerho Symphony Hall. In addition to o ering a wide range of studio art majors, MICA is proud to o er one of the nation’s only BFA degrees in art history, theory and criticism, as well as a newly created interdisciplinary concentration in curatorial studies, which is curator-in- residence George Ciscle’s most recent contribution to the history of the College. MICA’s campus is host to two socially charged projects for Bearing Witness. Witness will be installed in Cohen Plaza, while Endurance will appear on the second oor of the Brown Center. Cohen Plaza, a vibrant, outdoor green space connecting the Brown Center, Fox Building and Bunting Center, was named a er Ben and Zelda Cohen and was dedicated in 2004. Designed by Charles Brickbauer with Ziger/Snead Architects, the Brown Center was dedicated in October 2003 and is named in recognition of the College’s largest single gi $6 million from Eddie and Sylvia Brown and family. is generous donation also represents the largest gi to higher education by an African American family in U.S. history.
  31. 31. top le : T-Bone (August 5th, 2002; 10:01pm-11:00pm), from Endurance; 2003 top right: David (August 5th, 2002; 7:01pm-8:00pm), from Endurance; 2003 bo om le : Fish (August 5th, 2002; 9:01pm-10:00pm), from Endurance; 2003 bo om right: Billy (August 6th, 2002; 4:01am-5:00am), from Endurance; 2003
  32. 32. 2003 c-print, video Endurance consists of twenty-six life-size dedicated their participation in Endurance photographic portraits and a single channel to their friends who were lost as a result of video that documents a twenty- ve-hour life on the streets, thus literally “standing for” performance by a group of homeless those individuals. is memorial gesture teenagers in Sea le, Washington. Each of the constitutes a quiet but pronounced act of teens who participated in the project stood civil disobedience in opposition to Sea le’s silently before the camera on a street corner civility laws, which designate standing or as pedestrians and tra c passed by, seemingly si ing in one place a criminal o ense. is without taking notice of them. e video collective portrait reveals the complicated unfolds with a time-lapsed e ect that speeds and o en intertwined civic issues that defy up surrounding tra c, pedestrians and light, a simple interpretation of this marginalized which dissolve into ephemera in a spatial and community. Installing Endurance on the temporal conversation with the static teens. second oor of the Brown Center an iconic e photographic portraits of the teens were building that represents the heart of the shot before a dark nondescript background, MICA campus juxtaposes the challenges, allowing the viewer to focus on nothing other dangers and loneliness of the broken lives than the teens’ exposed emotions. of these teens on the streets with young In the soundtrack to the video, these youth people who have access to the nourishment, disclose their intimate stories about drug community and support of an educational addiction and homelessness in a candid environment where students and teachers manner accompanied by sounds of tra c are encouraged to exchange artistic and and urban life in the background. e youths intellectual ideas.
  33. 33. 1999-2000 cast aluminum, photography, audio is project uniquely combines photography, experienced by those a ected by abuses sculpture and audio to explore the legacy of power. McCallum and Tarry conceived of police violence and misconduct toward of Witness following the torture of Abner civilians. For its installation at MICA, Louima, who was beaten and sexually Witness comprises ve modi ed traditional assaulted while in custody of police at the police and re call boxes that have been 70th Precinct Station House in Brooklyn, recon gured to emit audio testimony given New York on August 9, 1997. Later, a by police o cers, activists, grieving parents, citywide installation designed as a kind youth and other witnesses of police violence. of “tour” was sponsored by the Bronx e ve anthropomorphic sculptures Museum of the Arts. For this occasion, on installed in Cohen Plaza seek to raise twenty consecutive days, these call boxes awareness about this issue in the context of an were installed on New York streets marked urban college campus by creating an intimate indelibly by police violence, as well as in space in which to listen to the voices of those places where accountability for these violent whose lives have been irreversibly changed by acts was determined. At a time when the police violence. public had become acutely aware of the In an earlier iteration of Witness at the issue, Witness inspired the viewer to consider Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New long-term solutions and ultimately examined York City, the work included projections of the challenge of policing a democracy. Today, the individuals who shared their testimonies the tragedies and victims Witness addresses slowed to the point of near immobility. allows for the renewal of national a ention on Witness draws a ention to the distress, police brutality and a continued focus on the mistrust and physical and emotional pain delegation of power. this page: Witness: Callbox Tour, 2000; installation view opposite page: Endurance, 2003; video still
  34. 34. e Walters Art Museum is located in Mount Vernon’s Cultural District at the corner of North Charles and Centre streets. is internationally recognized institution was formed by William T. Walters and his son Henry Walters, who opened his collection to the public in 1931. e gallery and its collection of 22,000 works were given to the city of Baltimore following the death of Henry Walters. Over time, e Walters has grown signi cantly to include more than 33,800 works of art, with artifacts ranging from ancient sculpture and medieval relics to Renaissance, Baroque and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European and American masterpieces. With a rm belief in art’s capacity to enrich the human spirit, e Walters has reached out to its surrounding community through free admission, engaging events and unconventional collaborations. e Walters o ers an encyclopedic collection spanning the history of art and hosts both temporary special exhibitions and educational programs that draw meaningful connections between the past and the present. Examples include a collaborative partnership with the Contemporary Museum for the exhibition Louise Bourgeois: Femme in 2006, when her art was integrated into the museum’s permanent collection. e Walters has also participated with Johns Hopkins University’s Mind/Brain Institute on an experiment to determine the neural basis of the human aesthetic experience.
  35. 35. Bearing , Shaquanna, 2006
  36. 36. this and opposite page: Bearing, 2006; FUEL House; Philadelphia, PA; installation view
  37. 37. 2006 toner on silk, audio Bearing is a series of printed silk scrims with collection on display in the Byzantine, photographic portraits of black teenage Russian and Ethiopian Galleries at e mothers. Some pregnant, some with their Walters. As suggested by the many di erent children, these young women share their meanings of the series’ title carrying a child, stories through both proud stances and enduring challenges and more Bearing determined, yet vulnerable, voices as they resonates both conceptually and visually. share visual and verbal testimony about their Inspired by altarpieces housed in the pregnancies and lives following the birth Philadelphia Museum of Art, Bearing was of their children. Formally, these portraits originally conceived as a public intervention echo traditional icons of the Madonna and with the assistance of the Department Child in two ways: their gli ering, gold of Human Services. One particular portrait, backgrounds and their tender portrayal of Tymia, startles the viewer by revealing her mothers with children. e audio component abdominal stretch marks as she stands of Bearing provides an opportunity for these with her hands rmly placed on her hips in young women to express intimate re ections a gesture of de ance. In both image and on their experiences. ese testimonies word, this series serves as a reminder that and images confront the challenges of peer these young women, and indeed all pressure, sex, pregnancy and the transition to mothers, regardless of their race, age, social adulthood. In referencing portraits and icons background or marital status, share a of the Madonna and Child, Bearing stages a common life experience. powerful dialogue with the permanent
  38. 38. Carroll Museums is an educational, non-pro t organization founded in 2002 that is revitalizing two of Baltimore’s most storied landmarks through innovation, collaboration and cultural stewardship. Under the direction of Carroll Museums, the Carroll Mansion and the Phoenix Shot Tower have become educational and cultural institutions dedicated not only to revealing the city’s rich and complicated history, but also to serving as temporary homes to a wide range of exhibitions focused on arts and culture. e Carroll Mansion is one of the city’s nest examples of Federal period architecture. Located in Baltimore’s oldest neighborhood, Historic Jonestown, the Mansion was originally the winter residence of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Carroll was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence and was instrumental in dra ing the First Amendment, which established the separation between church and state. Carroll was also one of the wealthiest men in the colonies; at the time of his death, he owned property worth more than 1.65 million dollars. is included over 70,000 acres in Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania, city and country houses, stocks, ca le, crops, furniture and silver worth $750,000; moreover, these extensive assets included more than 400 slaves. Carroll’s wealth allowed him to be a key investor in ground-breaking ventures such as the Baltimore Ironworks, B&O Railroad and the Phoenix Shot Tower. roughout the years following Carroll’s death in 1832, the Mansion underwent a number of changes, serving as the site of a saloon, an immigrant tenement, a sweatshop, Baltimore’s rst vocational school and a recreation center. Today, the Carroll Mansion is a site replete with traces and memories of these social injustices and triumphs, labor struggles and progress, culminating in a cultural legacy connected to de ning moments in the complex history of Baltimore as well as the nation.
  39. 39. Civil Rights Era Arrest Log Book (Alabama Department of Archives and History, 1956), 85.
  40. 40. e Evidence of ings Not Seen, 2008; Prospect.1 New Orleans; New Orleans, LA; installation view
  41. 41. 2008 oil on linen, toner on silk, audio e Evidence of ings Not Seen is a series diluted prisoners’ arrest records, omi ed on of 104 individually painted rectangular and the painted layer, persist as faint shadows oval portraits. is body of work honors printed onto the silk. Each portrait is further and commemorates the protesters arrested distanced from its original “criminal” context, during and following the historic 1955-1956 locked within a simple, double white Montgomery Bus Boyco s. e source wooden frame that announces this work’s images for these portraits are original mug dialogue between classical portraiture and shots that were taken upon each protesters’ documentary photographic evidence. Newly arrest. e muted color pale e and cropping installed at the Carroll Mansion, an elegant of the original image consistently adopted nineteenth-century home whose stately in these portraits imparts an artful elegance federalist architecture communicates to what might otherwise be considered a sense of elevated status, the exhibition perfunctory photographic records of of the portraits in Baltimore establishes a “criminals.” e subtle color highlights the new position of dignity and an occasion to calm resolve and staid spirit of each si er, as honor its subjects. e Carroll Mansion was well as the disciplined nature of their civil the part-time home of Charles Carroll of disobedience. Proudly clad in their “Sunday Carrollton, the longest lived signatory best,” these subjects further distinguish of the Declaration of Independence. Sited themselves from the context of traditional within this context, the concept of being criminal mug shots through their tasteful arrested, a gesture of criminality, assumes a a ire, composed postures and determined more poetic and elegiac meaning as a tool gazes. Familiar faces, such as Rosa Parks and of de ance and liberation. In addition to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are amongst the memorializing the protesters as individuals, many not remembered (and yet numbered) the dense, salon-style hanging of these who join the ranks of those acknowledged in portraits at the Carroll can be read on a history as their gazes meet those of the viewer, second, metaphorical level that recalls their iconic expressions con rming the conventions for displaying family portraits collective impact of all of these individuals. above replaces and wrapping around ese visually arresting portraits comprise crucial architectural spaces, such as two layers: an oil-on-linen painting based the curving staircase wall in the mansion’s on the original mug shot and a photographic entryway. us situated, these individuals image printed on sheer silk. e resulting demand recognition as a cultural family spectral surface recalls o -forgo en history, that was historically displaced. as the viewer strains to determine how the
  42. 42. Rising 215 feet and 9 inches, the Phoenix Shot Tower is a historical structure located next to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. e tower was constructed in 1828 for the manufacture of “drop shot” bullets, using a technique in which molten lead was dropped through a sieve from the top of the tower into a vat of water at the bo om. As the droplets fell, each molded into a perfect sphere and then cooled to a solid before collecting below. e shot produced here was used for small game hunting and sport, though the method of production was deemed out of date by 1892. A er many years of disuse, by 1921, the tower was scheduled for demolition. It was saved by a group of local citizens who came together and raised the $17,000 necessary to purchase the site, which they subsequently donated to the city. e Phoenix Shot Tower is now one of only three remaining shot towers in the United States, still standing only as a result of the Baltimore public rallying to preserve this historical monument. Overlooking Baltimore’s memorial to fallen police o cers as well as neighborhoods that have long been victims of gun violence, this historical landmark stands as a strong reminder of Baltimore’s innovation, industriousness and achievement, and provides a safe haven to contemplate the current challenges of reducing gun violence and returning to a safer and more prosperous city for all.
  43. 43. e Manhole Cover Project: A Gun Legacy, 1996; documentation of fabrication
  44. 44. e Manhole Cover Project: A Gun Legacy, 1996; Wadsworth Atheneum; Hartford, CT; installation view
  45. 45. 1996 cast iron, audio e Manhole Cover Project: A Gun Legacy Colt and the family’s lasting e ects on the features a selection of the original 228 City of Hartford. manhole covers that were commissioned Pendant to the covers are audio testimonies by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Hartford residents who were a ected in Hartford, Connecticut for a site- by the use of these and other weapons. is speci c installation. Authored by Bradley particular installation confronts the issue McCallum, this work marks the beginning of gun violence by raising awareness about of McCallum and Tarry’s collaboration. the debilitating impact of violence on e entire collection of manhole covers individual families and entire communities. has the exact weight of the 11,194 guns e Manhole Cover Project is sited for con scated by Connecticut law enforcement Bearing Witness within the city of Baltimore’s between January 1, 1992, and July 31, 1996; iconic Phoenix Shot Tower, a historical each manhole cover weighs 172 pounds landmark famous for making “drop shot” and is cra ed from the smelted cast iron of in the nineteenth century in a historic the handguns. Each cover features a Latin neighborhood that has now long been phrase, “Vincit Qui Patitur,” along with a ected by gun violence. e Phoenix Shot two possible translations of the phrase: “He Tower provokes awareness of the tumultuous who perseveres is victorious” and “He who presence and fearsome power of guns su ers conquers.” McCallum’s inclusion of in our midst as conceptualized through e both underscores the ambiguity of this Latin Manhole Cover Project. expression, itself the Colt family mo o, and hence an index of the gun industry of Samuel e Manhole Cover Project: A Gun Legacy, 1996; fabrication and detail
  46. 46. Located at the intersection of Pra and President Streets, the prominent, sculptural building of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture boldly draws a ention to the Inner Harbor neighborhood as a market in the Baltimore slave trade. is museum opened in 2005 with support from the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation. Baltimore-born and raised, Lewis was an extremely successful and generous entrepreneur, lawyer, CEO and philanthropist, who expressed the desire to support such a museum, shortly before his untimely death at the age of 51 in 1993. e Reginald F. Lewis Museum was designed to ll a perceived gap in the history of African American culture by collecting, preserving, interpreting, documenting, exhibiting and celebrating the rich contributions of African Americans in the state of Maryland. e museum’s permanent collection focuses on artifacts and displays that address the struggles of African Americans in this state, and the exhibition program in these galleries emphasizes three themes: Family and Community, Labor that Built a Nation, and Art and Enlightenment. e museum foregrounds topics such as the history and legacies of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement through both general educational presentations and focused features on individuals, such as Frederick Douglass, spanning the history of African American life in the state from the late eighteenth century to the present. e Reginald Museum’s on-site Resource Center serves as an open study facility focused on the African American experience. Special exhibits at the museum stretch beyond the Maryland context to connect visitors to the African American experience writ large. e installation here for Bearing Witness explores the unique talent of Baltimore- bred Billie Holiday (1915-1959), and her gi for singing simultaneously beautiful and horri c songs such as “Strange Fruit.” Holiday contributed to Pennsylvania Avenue’s reputation as “ e Avenue,” which was Baltimore’s cultural and musical epicenter for African Americans from the 1920s to the 1950s.
  47. 47. Lady with Flower (a er Lady Sings the Blues), 2009; from the Projection series
  48. 48. 2010 oil on linen, toner on silk, piano, audio e Lynching of Virgil Jones, Robert Jones and Joseph Riley, July 31, 1908 (a er unknown photographer; Allen/Li le eld Collection), 2007; from the Whitewash series; oil on linen, toner on silk Lady with Flower (a er Lady Sings the Blues), 2009; from the Projection series; oil on linen, toner on silk Sacred to the Memory of..., 2010 toner on silk, co on thread Baby grand piano Original sound composition: Imani Uzuri, 2010 Sacred to the Memory of… is a site-speci c e horri c nature of this act deepens as the installation created on the occasion of Bearing viewer a empts to resolve the redoubled Witness for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and blurred imagery whose ghostly e ect of Maryland African American History & visually haunts the viewer. Lady with Flower is Culture. e painting Lady with Flower (a er a portrait based on Sidney J. Furie’s 1972 lm Lady Sings the Blues) is displayed alongside Lady Sings the Blues, starring Diana Ross as a cream-colored baby grand piano a ributed Holiday. e magnetic image of Ross, to Billie Holiday; beyond this coupling, along whose melancholic gaze prompts the viewer the axis of the building, the viewer nds a to think about Holiday’s music and di cult delicate, black fabric scrim with a collage of life, enacts a moving likeness of the singer. photographic images, each printed on sheer e use of the fabric scrim, which partially silk and painstakingly embroidered with cross conceals the disturbing imagery in the stitches. is scrim establishes a threshold lynching painting, is a dramatic device that before a second painting, e Lynching of alludes to performance and theatricality. e Virgil Jones, Robert Jones and Joseph Riley, July many threads of this installation are woven 31, 1908 (a er unknown photographer; Allen/ together by a soundscape that uses the lyrics Li le eld Collection), from the Whitewash of “Strange Fruit,” a song made famous series. Both paintings feature McCallum by Holiday, in a vocal piece by Imani Uzuri. and Tarry’s signature technique in which the Holiday’s distinctively textured voice and printed silk mimics the image painted below, emotionally charged delivery of “Strange causing the gures in these compositions Fruit” resulted in the unlikely popularity of a to appear to move, while the collaged scrim song about lynching. is installation draws deploys the same sheer silk in a di erent together the legacies of lynching, the Civil manner. e Lynching of Virgil Jones records Rights Movement and Holiday’s career, as the grotesque image of the lynchings of Virgil the installation juxtaposes the jovial nature of Jones, Robert Jones and Joseph Riley in the entertainment industry with the dark Russellville, Kentucky. past of American race relations. *David Margolick, Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights (Philadelphia: Running Press, 2000), 15. opposite page: Sacred to the Memory of..., 2010; detail
  49. 49. Currently situated in downtown Baltimore at the edge of the Inner Harbor, Maryland Art Place (MAP) is a not-for- pro t contemporary art center founded in 1981 with a dual mission: to represent and support visual artists in Maryland and to o er expanded public access to artists working within the region. MAP strives to foster the growth of contemporary art production and education in Maryland by presenting exhibitions that feature work by local and national artists; by providing access to opportunities for artists on its website; and by o ering experimental and collaborative programming that engages professional artists, ne arts students and the public. MAP not only exhibits visual art in traditional and new media in its three galleries, but also hosts the 14Karat Cabaret, a bimonthly performance series in the basement of its former home at 218 West Saratoga Street. MAP coordinates the Maryland State Arts Council Visual Artists’ Registry and is well known for two ongoing innovative programs: Curators’ Incubator and Critics’ Residency, competitive mentoring opportunities for aspiring curators and critics. e organization has recently initiated a series of temporary public art installations and performances in its surrounding neighborhood with the goal of creating a far-reaching biennial urban art project. e three galleries at MAP o er a large selection of works in various media that center around the legacy of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement in this country as seen through the lenses of self-portraiture, documentary realism and the archive.
  50. 50. Silence, 2001
  51. 51. 2001 engraved granite, silk Silence, a site-speci c project that was rst as Eli Whitney, James Hillhouse and Samuel installed in Center Church on the Green Morse. In a pointed but elegant critique of in New Haven, Connecticut, combines the church’s racist past, the artists reassigned photographic portraits, sculpture and sound this memorial language to custom-designed, to draw a ention to the congregation’s state ctional gravestones for the departed of a airs in 1820, when African American black parishioners whose only remaining members of the church formally requested evidence has survived in the form of their full access to ground- oor seating in their names, member numbers and “colored” parish. When their appeal was denied and designation, facts documented in the segregation thus upheld these members institution’s membership records as well as le the congregation and founded the rst in these members’ failed petition. Each of African American Congregationalist Church. these granite markers is cloaked in a sheer, For Bearing Witness, the artists present a diaphanous black veil that pays respect to selection of the project’s original sixteen these individuals by establishing a gurative granite markers that pay tribute to these presence for them and sets up an intimate “colored” members of Center Church. Since relationship with the viewer, who must move li le is known about these individuals, the in very close to each sculpture in order to artists have appropriated language from those make legible the “ ctionalized” accounts, commemorative texts found in the church part imagination and part history, on their that honor its famous white members, such surfaces.
  52. 52. 2003 anodized aluminum sculpture, photography Looking For: a slave named... is a large-scale gate created to mark the entrance of the omas family cemetery, the last remaining evidence of a farm that is now the center of the State University of New York, Purchase College campus and the home of the Neuberger Museum of Art. e gate features textual information that reveals the identity of the family’s slaves, some of whom are presumed to have been buried in the cemetery. ese passages incorporate information excerpted from the 1800 census record, a news bulletin for a runaway slave from the omas farm, the will and distribution of Judge John omas Jr.’s slave property and its alleged provision that some slaves were permi ed burial within the family plot. Using a ground-penetrating radar device to search for disturbances to indicate the whereabouts of human remains, McCallum and Tarry located the unmarked graves of these named slaves, whose gravesites were both within and beyond the c.1840 walls, stretching into the adjacent eld and parking lot. is sculptural memorial can be read as both a catalyst and barrier; as an aperture, the gate represents the possibility of freedom and social inclusion, while as an obstruction, the piece represents the denial of slaves proper recognition and also memorializes the inequality and this page: Looking For: a slave named..., 2003; SUNY Purchase; Purchase, NY; prejudice that permeated every aspect of installation view their lives. is piece excavates the memory opposite page: Silence, 2001; Center Church; New Haven, CT; installation view of individuals whose histories were literally buried under the rubble of centuries of racism and social injustice in the U.S.; it began as a search, as an investigation, and serves as a reminder of the northern states longstanding participation in the institution of slavery.
  53. 53. 2006 high de nition video with sound Topsy Turvy is a video performance that permanently conjoined. While one of the explores race, marriage, parenthood and artists is upright, and hence visible, the other gender through a tableau vivant inspired by a artist is inverted and remains obscured Victorian-era toy for children. In this video from view by the costume of the other. is shot at the New York Historical Society, duality references binary constructions the artists have a ached their own bodies of race and gender as imagined across to a custom-built turning device, thus cultures and over time. e precarious mimicking the structure of a “twinning doll” balance achieved when one of the artists is with a life-size, contemporary version of this revealed and the other disappears mirrors racially charged toy. As the lm unfolds, the instability of dominance even when the artists turn round and round, and Tarry’s submission seems apparent. e video’s subtle layered skirts and McCallum’s tailored audio blends together the actual sounds tuxedo ow over and around one another. produced by this unique, sculptural structure ese playthings were designed to educate with a recording of dialogue between Topsy children through opposites. e doll’s unique and Miss Eva, two characters from Harriet structure two separate heads connected Beecher Stowe’s 1852 anti-slavery novel by a single torso typically features Uncle Tom’s Cabin. two characters of di erent races who are Topsy Turvy, 2006; video still
  54. 54. 2006 oil on linen, toner on silk Untitled (a er World Telegram & Sun, Bullet holes in back of stage where Malcolm X was shot), 2006; from the Whitewash series e installation of Whitewash paintings at processes stems from the concept of MAP brings together four large-scale works ‘whitewashing’ as a strategy for covering that mark the inception of this series and the up or beautifying the truth. Working with artists’ rst deployment of their signature images painted on linen and then covered layering of sheer silk over oil paintings. ese with a layer of sheer silk with a print of the pivotal works examine the history of race in same image, the artists create paintings with America through the poignant depiction of an almost holographic e ect. In this phase of social injustice during the civil rights era. e the series, the artists only partially covered the crime scene photographs of the Audubon painted works with silk, thus both revealing Ballroom following the assassination of and obscuring selections of the overall Malcolm X, which depict an empty space painted surface. is physical layering likewise but for the folding chairs le upturned as a stands as a metaphor for the subjectivity of terri ed audience ed, provided the artists memory and conjures an interpretive space with their initial inspiration as they envisioned between the painting and the printed image, a public memorial to the slain civil rights a con guration that shi s according to the leader. In one of the paintings, the artists viewer’s position relative to the painting. e combine two images of the funeral home painted and printed images converge to create where Malcolm X’s body lay on view under an ambiguous spatial dimension in which to the watchful eye of police. e artists’ unique explore the at times incompatible relationship combination of painterly and photographic between historical records and memory.1 1. Please see the analysis of Whitewash under the Contemporary Museum’s entry for further discussion of this series.
  55. 55. 2008 video with sound Within Our Gates is a three-channel video segregation forever.” Moving forward and that was rst projected inside an abandoned backward on the audio axis, this video water tower in Atlanta’s Fourth Ward, just becomes a visual portal between past and blocks away from the birthplace, home present as it commemorates the scores and church of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of individuals that made the Civil Rights Viewers entered this vertical cavern on a Movement a success. e video clips feature deck over a re ective pool, enraptured by the a range of imagery, including dramatic shots sound of a female voice singing a cappella of burning crosses, fervent political speeches spiritual and freedom songs, and enveloped and public rallies. Moreover, the presence of by images in a space illuminated by video the assembled crowds and marching gures projections of a collage of news footage of the in the video is animated by the rousing Civil Rights Movement (and their conjoined cadence asserted by the piece’s soundtrack. mirror images in the water). e second is dynamic, multi-media assemblage soundtrack, located at the entrance of the transports the viewer from the present to the structure, consisted of an interpretive reading site of civil rights protests in a work whose of Governor George Wallace’s 1963 inaugural scale and scope produce not only a sense of speech, during which he notoriously stated, community but also continuity. “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, Within Our Gates, 2008; Irwin Street Water Tower; Atlanta, GA; installation view *opposite page: Bernice Johnson Reagon, “Ella’s Song,” We All...Everyone One of Us (Chicago: Flying Fish Records, 1983.)
  56. 56. Otis: some thoughts on being a separate Sacred to the Memory of…, 2010 human being, 2004 Endurance, 2003 site-speci c installation including: 16 mm lm transferred to video with c-prints, video; Bearing Witness e Lynching of Virgil Jones, Robert Jones and sound; 3:00 minutes features a selection of the 26 Joseph Riley, July 31, 1908 (a er unknown photographic portraits, each 50 x 40 Production: Paul Jarret, Gavin photographer; Allen/Li le eld Collection), in.; video, 1 hour 50:16 minutes Rosenberg, Ben Zimbric; Editorial: 2007 (from the Whitewash series); Gavin Rosenberg Cinematography and Editorial: Roy oil on linen, toner on silk, 36 x 45 in. Wilson; Public Commission: e Cut, 2006 Lady with Flower (a er Lady Sings the Sea le O ce of Arts and Cultural Blues), 2009 (from the Projection series); high de nition video with sound; A airs’ Arts Up Program, with PSKS oil on linen, toner on silk, 26 x 22 in. 3:55 minutes (Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets) with funding by the Sacred to the Memory of..., 2010; toner on Cinematography: Roy Wilson; National Endowment for the Arts silk, cross stitching, 180 x 120 in. Editorial: Gavin Rosenberg; Audio: Brian Harne y Baby grand piano, George Steck Company, New York; 38½ x 58½ x 65 Whitewash series, 2006-2009 in.; gi of Mrs. Margie B. Warres and Dr. oil on linen, toner on silk; Leonard Warres dimensions variable Bearing, 2006 Original sound composition: Imani Uzuri Bloodlines, 2007 toner on silk, audio; six portraits, silkscreen on foil wallpaper with each 54 x 104 in. ocking, dimensions variable Portraits of and testimony by: Danielle Hughes, Shaquanna Jones Silence, 2001 Design: Ma hew McGuinness and Darne a Jones, Hakima Mercer, engraved granite, silk, audio; Exchange, 2007 Tymia Myers, Jazmine Stamps, 70 x 18 x 4 in. high de nition video with sound; Lakia Taylor Design: Ma hew McGuinness; Bearing 3:43 minutes Witness includes a selection of the 16 Commission: e City of Cinematography, editorial: Gavin granite and silk sculptures Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; Rosenberg; Audio: Brian Harne y Funding: Mid-Atlantic Arts Public commission: Artspace with Center Projection series, 2009-2010 Foundation, Ford Foundation and Church on the Green, New Haven, CT oil on linen, toner on silk; City of Philadelphia, Department of Looking For: a slave named..., 2003 dimensions variable Human Services. anodized aluminum sculpture, Evenly Yoked, 2010 photograph; 116 x 56 in. high de nition video with sound Design: Ma hew McGuinness Director: David Schweizer; e Evidence of ings Not Seen, 2008 Public commission: Neuberger Museum, Cinematography, editorial: Gavin oil on linen, toner on silk, audio; 104 2003 Biennial Exhibition of Public Art Rosenberg; Production: Ben paintings, dimensions variable Topsy Turvy, 2006 Zimbric, Caleb Wertenbaker, Jacob Audio: Imani Uzuri, John Bou e high de nition video with sound; A. Climer; Crew: Alexandr Skarlinski and Bradley McCallum 14:33 minutes and EDS students; Original sound composition: Imani Uzuri; Special Cinematography and editorial: Gavin thanks to: e Engineers Club Rosenberg; Audio: Brian Harne y; Audio: Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in Costumes: Daapo Reo e Manhole Cover Project: A Gun Legacy, Harlem is Heaven (1932) 1996 Whitewash series, 2006 oil on linen, toner on silk; dimensions cast iron manhole covers from variable con scated rearms, testimony; Within Our Gates, 2008 22¾ in. diameter; 228 pieces (selection shown in Bearing Witness) three-channel video projection, audio Witness, 1999-2000 Commissioned by the Wadsworth 10:39 minutes cast aluminum, photography, audio Atheneum and the Childhood Editor & Sound: Gavin Rosenberg 5 altered emergency call boxes Injury Prevention Center Assistant Editor: James Benyshek;Vocal 86 x 20 x 20 in. arrangement/performance: Imani Uzuri; Youth audio interns: Chevoughn Public Partnerships: e Bronx Voice: William Amory; Film Research: Augustin, Nashia Baskerville, Museum of the Arts, Parents Against Aggie Ebrahimi; Archive: Walter J. Brown Myrton Bewry, Josue Evilla, David Police Brutality, 100 Blacks in Media Archives, University of Georgia; Robles Law Enforcement Who Care, e Design coordination: Perkins + Will Anthony Baez Foundation and e Bradley McCallum with support New York Civil Liberties Union from Jacqueline Tarry with funding from e Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, e Jerome Foundation, e New York State Council for the Arts and the Ford Foundation * e complete exhibition checklist for Bearing Witness is available at h p://www.ultima.mica.edu/mccallumtarry/bw/artists/catalog/checklist.
  57. 57. SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS & PUBLIC INSTALL ATIONS 2009 Questions of Public and Private Memory – 1968, Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan Shades of Black, Galerie Nordine Zidoun, Luxembourg 2008 Within Our Gates, Irwin Street Water Tower, Atlanta, GA e Dark Is Light Enough, Galerie Nordine Zidoun, Paris, France Another Country, Kiang Gallery, Atlanta, GA 2007 Now, Tomorrow & Forever, Kinkead Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA Bloodlines, Caren Golden Fine Art, New York, NY 2006 Whitewash, Light Factory, Charlo e, NC Bearing, FUEL House, Philadelphia, PA Cut, Conner Contemporary Art, Washington, DC Whitewash, F-2 Gallery, Beijing, China 2005 McCallum & Tarry–Endurance, Tokyo Wonder Site and Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan 2004 Endurance, Marvelli Gallery, New York, NY Endurance, City Space Gallery, Sea le, WA 2003 Civic Endurance, Conner Contemporary Art, Washington, DC 2002 Silence: New Haven, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY 2001 Silence: New Haven, Artspace at Center Church on the Green, New Haven, CT 2000 Witness: Perspectives on Police Violence, e Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY and citywide installation, New York, NY In the Public Realm, Elvehjem Museum of Art, U. Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 1999 Witness: Perspectives on Police Violence, Church of St. John the Divine, New York, NY SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2010 Beyond/In Western NY, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Bu alo, NY One on One, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM Embracing Ambiguities, California State University, Fullerton, CA From en To Now, MOCA Cleveland, Cleveland, OH 2009 Beyond Appearances, Lehman College Art Gallery, CUNY, Bronx, NY Post Memory, EFA Gallery, New York, NY 2008 Prospect.1 New Orleans, LA e Other Mainstream II, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ Taking Shelter, Canazi Gallery, Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH 2007 Finding Form, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA John Q. Public & Citizen Jane: Private Americans in the Political Domain, University Art Gallery, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 2006 Civic Performance, Stony Brook University Art Gallery, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY Legacies: Contemporary Artists Re ect on Slavery, New York Historical Society, New York, NY 2005 Convergence, International Contemporary Art Exhibition, Beijing, China Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen, Netherlands 2004 Ralph Bunche: An American Legend, Queens Museum of Art, New York, NY It’s About Memory, Rhona Ho man Gallery, Chicago, IL 2003 Biennial of Public Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, SUNY, Purchase, NY 2002 MediaCity, Artists Commune Gallery, Hong Kong, China 2001 In Cold Blood, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY Art at the Edge of the Law, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridge eld, CT 2000 Black and Blue, Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Wesleyan, CT