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Accra Shepp (B. 1962, New York, NY)
Accra Shepp (B. 1962, New York, NY)
Accra Shepp (B. 1962, New York, NY)
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Accra Shepp (B. 1962, New York, NY)

Tuesday, June 6, 2020, Protesters, Brooklyn Borough Hall

Details
Accra Shepp (B. 1962, New York, NY)
Tuesday, June 6, 2020, Protesters, Brooklyn Borough Hall
signed, titled, numbered and dated (on the reverse)
gelatin silver photograph
image: 14 x 14 in. (35.6 x 35.6 cm.)
sheet: 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm.)
Executed in 2020. This work is from an edition of ten with two artist's proofs. Please note this work is sold unframed.

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Celine Cunha
Celine Cunha

Lot Essay

Accra Shepp is a photo based artist whose works are in a variety of collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He had a year long installation running through May 31, 2019 at the National Library of Luxembourg titled “Windbook”. It is an artist book that sits outside exposed to the elements with only the wind (not the human) to turn its pages. In 2018, he completed a commission for the Gund Family Foundation exploring activism in the arts. Hatje Cantz will be publishing his project, "Occupying Wall Street" and following that his project, "The Islands of New York." In addition to his visual art work he has written for the New York Times and the New York Review of Books.

The "Covid Journals" has been profiled on Time Warner's news station, New York One, and noted by the Queens Museum. Work from the project is in the online exhibition, Art At A Time LikeThis, curated by Barbara Pollack and Anne Verhallen (reviewed in the New York Times). It will also be included in an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. Additionally, Accra has spoken about the work at various online presentations, including, Princeton University, Anderson Ranch in Colorado, and Housed 2020, an interview series conducted by artist Joseph Maida.

Accra Shepp Statement: Covid Journals
In March of this year I was sitting in my studio under lockdown wondering what I was supposed to be doing as an artist. What should I be looking at, what should I be talking about, what was my responsibility in this strange and hyperbolic moment?

Then it occurred to me. I lived seven blocks from the first hospital in New York City to overflow with covid patients (Elmhurst Hospital). I lived in the epicenter within the epicenter. My neighborhood and the workers at the hospital were going “unseen.” There were news reports – dire descriptions of lack and uncontrolled contagion – but there was nothing to describe visually what living in the neighborhood looked like. On April 3rd, I began work on the Covid Journals.

As I followed the virus it began to change, just as it does in the body, so it did within the community. The lockdown led to mass unemployment, which created devastating hunger. Food pantries sprung up, organized by ordinary individuals, aided by restaurants who had ample supplies of food, but no one to eat it.

And then it changed again. When we learned of the murder of George Floyd, our already too-full-hearts overflowed into the streets. In spite of isolation and hunger and in spite of contagion, and the pandemic, people raised their voices to say, “No more.” And so, after the Contagion and Hunger, came the third chapter of the Covid Journals, Justice.

The project will continue through the development of a vaccine. It will chart whatever future shifts occur in the pandemic, through the autumn and the coming cold weather as well as the presidential election.

Instagram: @accrashepp

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