February 6-27: Black History Month Exhibition – « Reimagining the Black Identity » by Rebecca Arthur | Opening on February 5 @7pm
To celebrate Black History Month, the Fondation des Etats-Unis is pleased to present the exhibition Reimagining the Black Identity by Rebecca Arthur, current artist-in-residence at the FEU and one of this year’s recipients of the joint Fulbright-Harriet Hale Woolley scholarship. The Fulbright program, the FEU and HHW have launched a new partnership program in 2019 to fully fund an American musician and an American visual artist each year in Paris. The program aims at providing the best possible environment for the artists to work on their project for a full academic year. Along with a generous monthly stipend, grantees are offered free access to a studio at the FEU. They also fully participate in the rich cultural program of the FEU.
The Reimagining the Black Identity exhibtion will take place from February 6 to 27, and will open on Wednesday, February 5 as part of Art-Hop-Polis.
« As a Black American, my Black identity has been at the forefront of how I present myself to the world and my “Blackness” has continuously been the subject for my photographs. There is a large difference in the way the French apprehend identity compared to Americans, and upon my arrival here—my entire sense of self has been shattered by this disparity.
During my time in France, I have gone from calling myself an African-American to a Black-American and then simply American, an identity marker I never gave myself until now. Defining myself in this way has given me sparks of patriotism — except at the same time, it’s brought erasure to the Blackness that I felt I just began to understand, on top of the erasure that occurs by solely being Black in America.
I connected with a few people who felt similarly about their diasporic identities that invited me into their lives to listen to their stories of Blackness in France. These photographs depict those I interacted with alongside self-portraits that reflect my own process of identity as I learn about the ways my Blackness functions away from America and within a new structure of perception. »
~ Rebecca Arthur
About the Artist
Rebecca Arthur, photographer
« I am a Black-American photographer currently living in Paris, France on a joint Fulbright-Harriett Hale Woolley award in the arts. I consider myself a storyteller, using my images to document and share narratives on the themes of family, identity and home. There are many stories that you can’t put into words, and often times they can’t be told at all — they are painful, complex or don’t have the opportunities to be heard; and those are the ones that interest me the most. There is a beautiful affect that occurs when you confront a portrait of someone. You can feel their emotions, see the past in their eyes and sense their power and strength. It is within these affects that you can empathize with the subject and see the story from their perspective. »
Find out more about Rebecca Arthur in her biography.
Wednesday, February 5 from 7-8:30pm in presence of the artists as part of Art-Hop-Polis, art hopping at the Cité internationale. Find the program on Citéscope and follow the Facebook page for more information.
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