While I was in Tate Modern on Saturday, I also went to see the “Soul Of A Nation” exhibition, which is about Black Art during the Civil Rights movement. It’s not one I was really planning on seeing, and more of an impulse “Oh, why not” thing, but it was still interesting.
The Civil Rights movement happened in the US before I was born – not by much, but obviously by enough. I know the basics of it, but not a lot of the detail, and always feel I should know more about it. It absolutely amazes me that it was all relatively recent, that it was all happening fifty years ago. In that context, it’s amazing how far we’ve come – although there’s still a long way to go.
Anyway, it was an interesting exhibition – although there was a significant amount of (in my opinion) shite stuff, there was also enough to make it worth having gone in. I also got to learn about AfriCOBRA, the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists – most of which was admittedly bad, but still, made me laugh just for its honesty.
One of the other things I found interesting (and slightly sad) was that in an exhibition so deeply connected to Black Art, African-American History and Civil Rights, every single person viewing it was white. There was a quote on one wall, the gist of which was that Visual Arts were the biggest bastion of White Male artists, and the exhibition visitors certainly helped to reinforce tbat.
All told, it was interesting enough. I don’t think I’d bother seeing it again, but I’m still glad I did get to see it.