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Farther Where Art Thou: The Depletion of a National Resource at Blanc

Farther Where Art Thou: The Depletion of a National Resource
at Blanc





My first visit to Blanc, on S Martin Luther King Dr was for the photography of Bryant
Johnson
. If it is true that nobody reads artist statements at an art
opening, Bryant is lucky to say the least. His show, Farther Where
Art Thou: The Depletion of a National Resource
was, as you might
guess, topical to say the least. He was using the ever-present push to
live green as a way to address the treatment of black males in Chicago,
possibly the United States. Bryant's statement rambled on about how
everyone is working at living green while there is a natural resource
that is going untapped, namely the black male. Unfortunately it was
unclear in the photographs, close up head shots of middle aged black
males, how the connection was being made.

His photographs, which I found out from talking with Bryant, were of homeless men he had
encountered in Chicago. These were printed on what I would consider to
be cheap paper, then mounted with wheat paste on a shallow metal sheet
or a wood backing with black frame. Bryant's approach to displaying his
work may have been lacking only in an explanation. His photos were
powerful, referencing iconic images of black men like Martin Luther
King, Rev. Al Green, and Sonny Stitt. Making images like this and
treating them like street posters is absolutely no mistake and as
intriguing as the show was, I couldn't help but think the statement and
the message of living green confused the point that every man is a son
and every father is a hero.

Blanc is open Weds through Fri 11am-3pm and Sat by appointment only, and is located in Bronzeville at
4445 S. Martin Luther King Drive. Check out this show and let me know
what you think.

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