By Erin Lain & Takashi Shallow
The CHESS Art Gallery, located at 7011 Indianapolis Blvd. in Hammond, IN, will have a new exhibition running from July 27th through September 5th. Titled Re • membering: Experiences as the premise for reality, featuring Jazmine Harris and Brandon Sherrod, the exhibit will open with a reception on July 27 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., and end with an artist talk on Sept. 5, time TBA.
Harris employs found photographs and family emblems as materials for collage exploring how familial myths and collective memory repeatedly merge and collide to shape one’s identity and perspective of the world around them.
Sherrod’s intensely personal work contemplates and intersects the medium of photography, his own working process, and his subjective feelings. He explores a cultural practice that emerges from parts of the “black experience” and “black America” seen through a particular lens of abstraction. Use of easily accessible, perishable materials speak to the lack of permanence that he feels as a black man, asking himself: “How long will I last?”
Collectively, this duo utilizes photography to illuminate the colorful stories of African Americans residing on Chicago’s Southside. A desire to define and understand one’s self has always been an innate part of the human experience. We’ve pondered questions like “Who am I?” and “Who are we?” since the dawn of civilization in a phenomenological attempt to discover meaning and exert power. Jazmine Harris and Brandon Sherrod expound this robust narrative and lineage of black photographers as they seek to craft a new chapter.
As early as 1840, a year after the premiere of the daguerreotype, black photographers began using the two-dimensional medium to devise original tales. Early adoption of the medium allowed photographers to actively participate in the creation and distribution of imagery and narratives that reflected their own unique experiences across America. With the camera in hand, black photographers and their subjects used the medium to protest unwarranted claims of barbarism and celebrate their accomplishments and culture while impetuously documenting their reality.