Our Flesh of Flames

Photomontage by Theodore Harris

[ Photomontage by Theodore Harris.]


Our Flesh of Flames is an incendiary exhibition of photomontage works by African American artist Theodore Harris, now showing at the Hammonds House Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, until September 9th, 2007. I’ve written about Harris before, and was tickled to see the positive write-up he received on Atlanta’s creativeloafing.com website. Here’s an excerpt of what reviewer Felicia Feaster had to say:

“As nitroglycerin-volatile as the title promises, Our Flesh of Flames is so provocative that it may be a good thing it’s tucked away on a leafy, serene street in the West End. Philadelphia artist Theodore Harris’ collages and collage-based prints suggest a newspaper cut up and culture-jammed by a punk-rock revolutionary. Instead of journalistic ‘objectivity,’ there is subjective fury. It’s a rage directed at a country underpinned by big money and the sedative appeals of God and country. In Harris’ work, it’s not Iraq that’s the war zone; it’s America.

Harris’ repeated visual motif is the provocative image of the U.S. Capitol turned upside down like an inverted cross. Mixed in with that vision of a country whose cherished democracy has essentially gone belly-up are images of raging fires, hooded Klansmen, Bubbas waving Confederate flags, police cracking batons on civilian heads, dripping blood, wounded American soldiers, helicopters and demolished buildings. (….) Our Flesh of Flames is a welcome change from a larger culture of apathy.”

Concurrent to the Hammonds exhibit of Harris’ works, the museum is also showing a selection of political posters created by African American artists during the heyday of late 60’s activism. Of particular note are the many original works on display by Emory Douglas, the former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party.

By the way, the works of Emory Douglas will also be exhibited at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, California, starting October 21st, 2007 and running until January 20th, 2008. It is an exhibit that I will undoubtedly be covering extensively on this web log. Approximately 150 works by Douglas will be on display in the exhibition organized by L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Instead of an official museum catalog for the show, the exhibit will be accompanied by the fantastic book, Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglass, published by Rizzoli in Feb. 2007.

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