For Curator’s Office, Jefferson Pinder Captures Ferguson as Dance

THE DAILY PIC: Breakdancers act out what happens to people in hoodies.


THE DAILY PIC: This is a still from a video by Jefferson Pinder, who now teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is one of the best artists to come out of Washington, D.C., in recent years.

I saw the piece, called Dark Matter, when it was shown earlier this month at the Volta fair in New York by Curator’s Office, Pinder’s Washington dealer. (Click on my image to see an excerpt.)

Pinder worked with a troupe of excellent break dancers, The Lionz of Zion, to come up with a routine inspired by the conflicts in Ferguson and the many other recent examples of police brutality. In Pinder’s video, it’s a pleasure to watch the very kinds of people who suffer at the hands of the police, and from our dysfunctional social structures, depicting that suffering.

The piece hovers between a group portrait executed by Pinder and self-portraiture done by his subjects themselves, with the difference that they depict who they are by simply being who they are. And just being who they are is what puts them in the cross-hairs.

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