We Wanted a Revolution: New Perspectives on Community, Curating, and Politics
To celebrate the publication of We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 / New Perspectives, Intellectual Publics is pleased to present editors Rujeko Hockley and Catherine Morris in conversation with art historian and critic Jessica Bell Brown, as they discuss the context, influences, and new ideas inspired by the groundbreaking project We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85, organized by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Focusing on radical approaches to community building, art making, and political organizing developed by women artists of color in this pivotal period, the conversations started by the exhibition and its first publication, A Sourcebook, are now furthered by contributions from contemporary scholars, including Aruna D’Souza, Kellie Jones, and Uri McMillan, in the newly released volume. Led in conversation by Bell Brown, editors and exhibition co-curators Morris and Hockley will discuss how they conceptualized the two volumes as related but independent projects, as well as the exhibition itself and questions of collaboration, politics, and the potential of curatorial work.
Catherine Morris is the Sackler Family Senior Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum where, since 2009, she has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions including We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-1985; Judith Scott-Bound and Unbound; Chicago in L.A: Judy Chicago’s Early Work, 1963-1974; and Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art. She has worked on projects examining contemporary practices through historical precedents, including the 2016-2017 museum wide project The Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum and Agitprop!. She has worked on exhibitions and curatorial projects with Beverly Buchanan, Marilyn Minter, Zanele Muholi, Suzanne Lacy, Matthew Buckingham, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith and Rachel Kneebone and produced historical exhibitions such as Twice Militant: Lorraine Hansberry’s Letter to The Ladder, Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913-1919, and Healing the Wounds of War: The Brooklyn Sanity Fair of 1864. Previously an independent curator, Morris organized, among other projects, Decoys, Complexes and Triggers: Women and Land Art in the 1970s at SculptureCenter, New York; 9 Evenings Reconsidered: Art, Theatre and Engineering, 1966 for the List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and two exhibitions, Gloria: Another Look at Feminist Art of the 1970s and Food at White Columns, New York.
Rujeko Hockley is an assistant curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is the co-curator of the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Additional projects at the Whitney include Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined (2017) and An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1940-2017 (2017). Previously, she was Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she co-curated Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond (2014) and was involved in exhibitions highlighting the permanent collection as well as artists LaToya Ruby Frazier, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Kehinde Wiley, Tom Sachs, and others. She is the co-curator of We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 (2017), which originated at the Brooklyn Museum and is traveling to three U.S. venues in 2017-18. She serves on the Board of Art Matters, as well as the Advisory Board of Recess. (Photo credit: Jody Rogac)
Jessica Bell Brown is an art historian and writer based in New York. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University. Her dissertation examines African American abstraction in the post-civil rights decade, focusing on the suspended paintings of Sam Gilliam and Joe Overstreet. Bell Brown holds a B.A. in art history from Northwestern University, and an M.A. in Art History from Princeton. She is a Teach for America alumna and has worked in curatorial capacities at New York City cultural institutions including Creative Time, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Museum of Modern Art.