© Inmates of Attica State Prison negotiate with state prisons Commissioner Russell Oswald at the facility in Attica, NY, USA, September 10, 1971. Courtesy of the Associated Press
Press release -This exhibition recounts the story and cultural impact of the notorious Attica prison riots in western New York State. In a context of great political unrest in the United States, including repression of the Black Panther Party and mass opposition to the Vietnam War, 2200 inmates at the Attica Correctional Facility rebelled in demand of civil rights and better living conditions. Following failed negotiations, New York state police violently regained control of the prison, resulting in the deaths of 42 detainees and correctional officers. The still and moving images emerging from journalists permitted inside the prison were unlike any photo-reportage seen before, offering extraordinary insight into American incarceration, conditions within the US prison system, and the country’s fraught politics of race and power. This exhibition contextualizes imagery of the events within a broader expressive framework, including photography and documentary film alongside artwork, music, agitprop ephemera, and popular cinema to explore the multivalent cultural response to this extraordinary news event.
© Bob Schutz, Clenched fists at Attica State Prison, Attica, NY, USA, September 10, 1971. Courtesy of the Associated Press
TORONTO, January 16, 2017 --- This winter, the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) and Black Artist’s Network Dialogue (BAND) team up to present a season of shows titled Power to the People: Photography and Video of Repression and Black Protest. These exhibitions explore the historical and ongoing struggle for justice between people of colour and police forces representing the state. On view from January 18 to April 9, 2017, the RIC presents Attica USA 1971: Images and Sounds of a Rebellion; Birmingham, Alabama, 1963: Dawoud Bey/Black Star; Adam Pendleton: My Education, A Portrait of David Hilliard; and From the Collection: Sister(s) in the Struggle. The season launches with a reception on Wednesday, January 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Following this, from February 2 to 26, BAND presents No Justice, No Peace: From Ferguson to Toronto at the Gladstone Hotel.
In 1971, amid great political unrest in the United States, including repression of the Black Panther Party and mass opposition to the Vietnam War, 2,200 inmates at the Attica Correctional Facility rebelled in demand of civil rights and better living conditions. Following failed negotiations, New York state police violently regained control of the prison, resulting in the deaths of 42 detainees and correctional officers. From the revolt’s outset, the inmates gave selected observers and journalists unusual access to film and photograph the prison and uprising. Attica USA 1971 presents these still and moving images, offering extraordinary insight into the American incarceration system and the country’s fraught politics of race and power. This exhibition is curated by Philippe Artières with Le Point du Jour (Cherbourg, France), and generously supported at the RIC by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York.
Curated by Gaëlle Morel, Birmingham, Alabama, 1963 explores this famous flashpoint in American history. Portraits by American photographer Dawoud Bey commemorate the six young victims of the notorious Ku Klux Klan bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Alongside this artistic act of remembrance, a selection from the RIC’s Black Star Collection of photojournalism provides historical context for the bombing, recounting the political and social turmoil that placed this U.S. city, and the burgeoning American Civil Rights Movement, in the international media spotlight during the months leading up to the explosion.
On the RIC’s Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall, Adam Pendleton’s My Education, A Portrait of David Hilliard takes viewers to the site of a fatal 1968 gun battle between Black Panther Party activists and the police of Oakland, California. The video draws on Hilliard’s eyewitness account to raise questions about an event that continues to reverberate deeply today. This exhibition is guest curated by Andréa Picard and presented in conjunction with community partner, TIFF.
Featuring the work of artists Zun Lee, Jalani Morgan and Nation Cheong, No Justice, No Peace: From Ferguson to Toronto positions photography at the forefront during an era of heightened global protests against systemic violence by police. All are socially-conscious photographers whose images evoke the pan-geographic urgency with which their black subjects demand to be seen and heard. Co- curated by Julie Crooks and Reese de Guzman, this exhibition will be on view at BAND’s pop-up gallery at the Gladstone Hotel from February 2 to 26, 2017.
Power to the People: Photography and Video of Repression and Black Protest is co-presented by BAND with generous support from media sponsors, Toronto Star and CBC Toronto.
The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) exists for the research, teaching and exhibition of photography and related media. We are an active partner within the academic fabric of Ryerson University, the cultural network of greater Toronto, and the national and international artistic community. We develop rigorous yet inclusive programs for students, faculty, artists, researchers and curators, as well as the general public. The RIC boasts three interrelated areas of activity. Our exhibition program addresses topics of social, cultural, aesthetic and historical concern from a variety of contemporary perspectives. Our Peter Higdon Research Centre conducts and facilitates inquiry into primary resource materials and offers workshops, lectures, symposia and publication programs. Finally, we maintain a collection of photography spanning the medium’s history, as well as several artist and journalism archives—including the renowned Black Star Collection of twentieth century photoreportage. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca/ric
Black Artist’s Network Dialogue (BAND) is an organization dedicated to supporting, documenting and showcasing the artistic and cultural contributions of Black Artists and cultural workers in Canada and internationally. For more information about BAND, visit www.band-rand.com
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 41,500 students, including 2,400 master's and PhD students, 3,200 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past five years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca
Co-produced by: Le Point du Jour
Co-presented with: Black Artist’s Network Dialogue (BAND)
Media sponsors: Toronto Star and CBC Toronto
With generous support at the RIC from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York
Attica USA 1971: Images and Sounds of a Rebellion
January 18 – April 9, 2017
Curated by Philippe Artières with Le Point du Jour (Cherbourg, France) Ryerson Image Centre