at 6 pm
for a reading and discussion with artist
"Thesentur: Conscientious Objector to Formalism is a series of minimal, image and quotation based works that uses poetry to confront mainstream art criticism, art history, to look beneath the surface politics of aesthetics and formalism in a presentation of art that is not self-referential or to put a Black face on the art history of imperialism. Formalism functions as the cosmetics of art criticism like aluminum siding on a slumlord's property. It is an attempt to disguise what is crumbling beneath the surface politics of its proselytizing church bells, ringing, in the mega church / museums and galleries where there are more Black bodies guarding the white cube then exhibiting in it.What marginalized artist know is that canon formation is a battlefield and critical art is the weapon! In the crossed out words of Basquiat - to repel ghosts."
Theodore A. Harris was born in 1966 in New York City, NY and raised in Philadelphia, PA, where his art practice is based. Harris is a collagist, poet, and has co-authored books with Amiri Baraka - Our Flesh of Flames (Anvil Arts Press) and Malcolm X as Ideology (Lebow Books) - with Fred Moten,i ran from it and was still in it (Cusp Books) - and TRIPTYCH: Text by Amiri Baraka and Jack Hirschman (Caza De Poeisa).
He has held residences at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center New Orleans, LA, 40th Street A-I-R Philadelphia, PA. Hammonds House Museum and Resource Center of African American Art Atlanta, GA. International Festival of Arts and Ideas New Haven,CT.
His work is in private and public collections such as the Center for Africana Studies University of Pennsylvania,Saint Louis University Museum of Art, Du Bois College House University of Pennsylvania, and Lincoln University.
In 2011 Harris’ work was exhibited at the 9th International Conference of the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) Black States of Desire Conference University of Chicago Center in Paris, France. He also curated the exhibition SURFACE POLITICS: Looking Beneath Aesthetics and Formalism in 2010 at Salon Joose Studio Gallery in Philadelphia, Pa.
Harris is the founding director of The Institute for Advanced Study in Black Aesthetics.