2nd Saturday July 2024: With Open Eyes

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ROOT DIVISION PRESENTS: With Open Eyes curated by Adrianne Ramsey

With Open Eyes is a group exhibition that amplifies Black visual representation through positive depictions of Black culture and life. The exhibition’s title derives from the poem “Dream Song 29” (1969) by John Berryman, which was popularized by the television series Succession and speaks to opening up our eyes to new views of Blackness. Featuring a lineup of fourteen Black artists - Cynthia Brannvall, Rohan DaCosta, Dana Davenport, Ashara Ekundayo, Eniola Fakile, Miela Foster, Nicole Henton, Gbenga Komolafe, Maya June Mansour, Seraphina Perkins, Raymond Pinto, Michon Sanders, Najee Tobin, and Fulton Leroy Washington (MR. WASH) – their exhibited works redefine notions of Blackness by presenting counternarratives of desire and relief, occasionally utilizing Afrofuturism.

In rejecting oppressive perceptions that are often entangled in Black identity, such as classism, body dysmorphia, sexism, and homophobia, With Open Eyes provides a visual understanding of the need to have inclusion, liberation, and equality. The diverse array of works, ranging from installation, photography, painting, and textiles, exemplifies the importance of exploring Blackness, which is candid and complex, in all aspects. Too often when we think of Black art, we are actually imagining depictions of Black trauma, violence, and death. However, it is important to note that With Open Eyes does not pretend as if these stereotypes do not exist. Instead, the artists contemplate contemporary issues surrounding Black identity and representation. Blackness is so often constricted to moments of harm and criminalization, and With Open Eyes presents an opportunity for Black artists to gain agency over telling their own stories.

July 13th, 2024 from  7:00 PM to  9:00 PM
1131 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States
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Exhibition Date 05/11/2024
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