Claudia Rankine & John Lucas

Situation 11

As artists and citizens, we are especially interested in how the media informs our understanding through specific racialized framing of catastrophic events such as the attack on the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina or “stop and frisk” laws. Our national discourse reinforces or interrupts ideas informing the racial imaginary and since many, if not all, of these events engage the language of race and racism this age-old tension was crucial as we set out to marry language to image. The documentary impulse behind the Situations series can be seen not only in the appropriated images but also in the appropriated language. It is our feeling that both devastating images and racist statements need management.

claudia rankine
john lucas

About the artist

Claudia Rankine is the author of five volumes of poetry including The End of the Alphabet (1998), Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004) and Citizen: An American Lyric (2014). She also writes plays, creates video works and has edited several anthologies. Her book of essays Just Us will be published in 2020. She is co-founder of The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII). Her numerous awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She teaches at Yale University.

John Lucas has directed and produced several cutting-edge multimedia projects, including the collaborative series Situations with poet Claudia Rankine and the feature-length documentary film, The Cooler Bandits. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries both nationally and internationally as well as publications including Vogue, BOMB, The Atlantic, The New York Times and Art Forum. He is a founding member of the curatorial team at The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII). Lucas lives and works in New Haven, CT.

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