Whitney Biennial 2014

Solo en Inglès

Kids can hear directly from artists as they talk about the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

Dawoud Bey

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NARRATOR: Spend a few minutes looking closely at Dawoud Bey’s photographs. What do you notice about these people’s expressions? These photographs were inspired by an event that took place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, when six African American children and teenagers were killed in acts of racial violence. This event was so horrible that it helped to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination. Bey, who is African American, said that he wanted to engage with this event that happened fifty years ago but that should never be forgotten. In 2012, he asked people from Birmingham to pose for the photographs. The kids you see here are the same age as the kids who were killed in Birmingham. The adults are the age that the kids would have been today, if they had lived.  By showing us pairs of older and younger people together, what does Bey want us to think about? 

A photograph of two women.

NARRATOR: Spend a few minutes looking closely at Dawoud Bey’s photographs. What do you notice about these people’s expressions? These photographs were inspired by an event that took place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, when six African American children and teenagers were killed in acts of racial violence. This event was so horrible that it helped to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination. Bey, who is African American, said that he wanted to engage with this event that happened fifty years ago but that should never be forgotten. In 2012, he asked people from Birmingham to pose for the photographs. The kids you see here are the same age as the kids who were killed in Birmingham. The adults are the age that the kids would have been today, if they had lived.  By showing us pairs of older and younger people together, what does Bey want us to think about? 


Dawoud Bey, Maxine Adams and Amelia Maxwell (from The Birmingham Project), 2012. Two pigmented inkjet prints mounted on dibond, 40 × 64 in. (101.6 × 162.6 cm) overall. Collection of the artist. © Dawoud Bey