Through Dec. 20, Alabama Contemporary Art Center (AC) in Mobile, Alabama, presents History Refused to Die, an exhibition that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery Marches, which were some of the key historic events of the American Civil Rights Movement.
History Refused to Die gathers more than 75 works by 15 self-taught Alabama artists, examining the textured African American experience in the state. Among them is Joe Minter’s sculpture garden African Village in America with a multichannel video installation by Tom Leeser, director of the Center for Integrated Media and the Program of Art and Technology in the CalArts School of Art.
Described by The New York Times as “one of the last great yard shows in America,” African Village is made of civilization’s discards—scrap metal and flea market finds, for example—and are an homage to the history of African Americans and Minter’s vision of the continent from which they came.
In the AC exhibit, the yard show is transferred to a dark, cavernous room and the sculptures are lit with floodlights. Leeser creates film clips that dance on the walls around them.
From the Alabama-based publication Lagniappe Weekly:
This exhibit is a liberation and validation of the African-American experience and testimony to the talent in our own backyard. These artists are from upriver, the Black Belt and areas of rural Alabama often highlighted for its near third world conditions. These artists blaze through those limitations with an indomitable human spirit.
Other artists featured in History Refused to Die include visual artists Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, Ronald Lockett and Mose T.
History Refused to Die
March 14 through Dec. 20
Alabama Contemporary Art Center
301 Conti St., Mobile, AL
Tickets: general $5, students $3, free for children and members