Written on Skin: Posing Questions on Beauty
Held as part of Carrie Mae Weems LIVE: Past Tense/Future Perfect, this discussion features practitioners from the fields of visual arts, literature, fashion, and education whose work focuses on questions of image and identity. The photographer, curator, author, and educator Deborah Willis, a 2000 MacArthur Fellow, leads the conversation with Michaela Angela Davis, Awol Erizku, Gerard H. Gaskin, Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Maaza Mengiste, and Richard J. Powell.
This program will be livestreamed at guggenheim.org/live.
Deborah Willis is University Professor and Chair of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, where she also has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences, Africana Studies. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. debwillisphoto.com
Michaela Angela Davis is a writer and image activist who has worked to expand limited narratives about beauty, gender, identity, and race in the media. @MichaelaAngelaD
Awol Erizku is an artist who works in photography, video, and sculpture. awolerizku.com
Gerard H. Gaskin is a freelance photographer whose most recent book, Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene (2013), takes readers inside the culture of high-spirited late-night pageants known as house balls. gerardhgaskin.com
Sandra Jackson-Dumont is Kayla Skinner Deputy Director for Education and Public Programs and Adjunct Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Seattle Art Museum. She was recently appointed Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. @sandrajd
Maaza Mengiste is the Ethiopian-born author of the award-winning Beneath the Lion’s Gaze (2010). Her next novel, The Shadow King (forthcoming), is set in Fascist Italy and Ethiopia in the early days of World War II. She was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2010–11. MaazaMengiste.com
Richard J. Powell is John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. He has taught courses in American art, the arts of the African diaspora, and contemporary visual studies, and has written on topics ranging from Primitivism to Postmodernism. richardjpowell.com