Flava: Wedge Curatorial Projects 1997-2007
Published by Wedge Curatorial Projects.
Edited by Elizabeth Harney. Introduction by Deborah Willis. Text by Julie Crooks, Cameron Bailey, Warren Crichlow, Pamela Edmonds, Gaylene Gould, Pablo Idahosa, Jürgen Schadeberg, Ruth Kerkham Simbao.
This excellent collection of photo-based work that explores black identity celebrates the tenth anniversary of Toronto's Wedge Curatorial Projects, founded by collector and Wedge Gallery Director Kenneth Montague. Over the past decade, the project has evolved to include community workshops, collaborations with local organizations, international galleries and even a music compilation series. The works range from vintage Harlem Renaissance images to documentary photographs of Africa; from pictures of the Black British Arts movement to contemporary portraiture and conceptual work. Themes include identity, beauty, displacement and memory. One particular standout is a series of 1970s and 80s color portraits of black New York City youths by Jamel Shabazz--a mini visual diary of the streets of that infamous era, where kids pose for the camera wearing gold necklaces, brand-new matching sneakers, huge sunglasses and unlimited amounts of style. With works by Lee Friedlander, J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, Dawit Petros, Seydou Keïta, Malick Sidibé, Aaron Siskind, Mickalene Thomas, James VanDerZee and Hank Willis-Thomas, among others, Flava offers both a historical and a contemporary survey of the global diaspora.