We finally made it to the Brooklyn Museum to see We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85, albeit on closing weekend. While we were happy to experience the exhibition, I regret not being able to see it more than one time.
Organized by Catherine Morris and Rujeko Hockley (Curator of my other favorite recent show), We Wanted a Revolution is a game changer, but I'm really here to describe our experience viewing it as a family. For a professional take, Jared Quinton wrote a wonderful piece in artmargins.
Santi has been to his fair share of galleries and museums, and as he gets older his "taste" becomes more obvious. By taste, I mostly mean he lets us know what he likes and does not like. His threenager attention span is also a challenge. However, the bold entry made an immediate impact and he was intrigued. Because there were so many different types of work, something new was constantly grabbing (and keeping) his attention. The questions we ask him as we observe work - and his answers - have changed so much in the last year. "What colors do you see?" and "What do you think this looks like?" have become "What do you think this person is thinking?" and "How does this make you feel?"
When we made our way into one of the galleries, Santi exclaimed "Wow, so many photos!" and ran over to look. But what really stole his heart were all of the videos. I was in disbelief about how long he watched each of them, and even waiting his turn if someone else was watching.
There was a moment when he was standing near Lorna Simpson's “Gestures/Reenactments” beneath the sequence that read "Sometimes Sam stands like his mother" and I don't what happened, but I felt my eyes well up. It was a moment of both heaviness and heart.
It's wonderful the show will travel and more people in the country will see it, but part of me wishes it had a permanent home here.
While we remind ourselves that certain things currently happening are Not Normal, I hope exhibitions like this are the New Normal.