University at Buffalo
Department of

Art

Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

Frederick Wright Jones: “The First Meeting of the National Rifle Association for the Advancement of Colored People – in my Head.”

April 2, 2010  by: Admin

The First Meeting of the NRAACP – in my Head

a new installation by Frederick Wright Jones

exhibition: March 20 – April 17, 2010
reception: Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 8 – 11 p.m.

Big Orbit Gallery, 30 d Essex Street, Buffalo, New York 14213. 716.560.1968. Thursday – Sunday, 12-5 p.m.

The NRAACP is to provide the political left and right the opportunity to discuss issues of gun-responsibility, social control, poverty, community building, economic uplift, criminality and freedom in an egalitarian and respectful forum. The NRAACP seeks roads of communication between groups that are separated by race, economics or political culture. The hope is that by bypassing preconceptions we may find a rational yet non-oppressive solution to the harmful effects of gun violence in American’s colored community and America at large. Violence is a mixture of poverty and the competition for capital. Even in a city of Buffalo’s size, I see near my home on the west and in the neighborhood where my mother grew up on the east side the harmful and often violent effects of a weak economy and a plethora of firearms. Yet, I know that gun control and stronger police presence will not get to the roots of the problem.

The installation will consist of action-figure/puppets, depicting historical and present day icons of the politics of race, violence, and class. The work is a physical representation of my dream meeting. By making icons as toys I question historical control and present-day hermeneutics. Considering how the Enlightenment language of freedom has veiled slavery and other subjugation, could it be that western culture itself is the Babylon Slave-ship? By taking the middle path linguistically, do we remain in the middle passage, politically?

As I reconfigure the imagery of membership: belonging, hope and the feeling of achievement, I want to shed the light on how language can veil the whole to highlight a point. Define freedom. How are honor and sovereignty included in this definition? Today we are “free”, but how does this correspond to the traditional roles of the freeman and the slave.

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