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Hank Willis Thomas
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Hank Willis Thomas

Spring 2012
Institute Fellow
New York, NY

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                       Photo credit: Alexis Peskine

Hank Willis Thomas
is an artist working with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He received his BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and his MFA in photography, along with an MA in visual criticism, from Californ¬ia College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. Thomas has acted as a visiting professor at CCA and in the MFA programs at Maryland Institute College of Art and ICP/Bard and has lectured at Yale University, Princeton University, the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.

He received a new media fellowship through the Tribeca Film Institute and was an artist in residence at John Hopkins University as well as a 2011 fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. He has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad. Thomas’ work is in numerous public collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum and Museum of Modern Art.

His work has been featured in several publications including 25 under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers (CDS, 2003), 30 Americans (RFC, 2008) as well as his monograph Pitch Blackness (Aperture, 2008). His collaborative projects have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival and installed publicly at the Oakland International Airport, The Oakland Museum of California and the University of California, San Francisco. He also was an Artist in Residence at Cite´ Internationale Universitaire de Paris. Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City.

More information can be found at hankwillisthomas.com.


PROJECT

The Institute is proud to announce that Hank Willis Thomas has been selected as an Institute Fellow to support and collaborate on his latest work Question Bridge: Black Males and future projects.

Currently on display at different museums all over the country, Question Bridge is an innovative video installation created by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. The four collaborators spent several years traveling throughout the United States, speaking with 150 Black men living in 12 American cities and towns, including New York, Chicago, Oakland, Birmingham, and New Orleans. From these interviews they created 1,500 video exchanges in which the subjects, representing a range of geographic, generational, economic, and educational strata, serve as both interviewers and interviewees. Their words were woven together to simulate a stream-of-consciousness dialogue, through which important themes and issues emerge, including family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, violence, and the past, present, and future of Black men in American society.

The exhibition includes multiple screens playing videos of the interviews, edited so that it appears as if the men are having a conversation. The artists hope that the Question Bridge project will be a catalyst for constructive dialogue that will help deconstruct stereotypes about Black male identity in our collective consciousness.


More information can be found at: www.questionbridge.com