Dartmouth Events

ARTIST TALK: Titus Kaphar

"Personalizing Mass Incarceration: Exploring American Justice and Injustice"

Thursday, April 25, 2024
5:00pm – 6:00pm
Hood Museum of Art
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Academic Calendar, Arts, Dartmouth Dialogues, Dialogue Project, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lectures & Seminars

Extending from the four works from his Jerome Project currently on view in Gilded, artist Titus Kaphar will explore what has inspired his current work. Reception to follow in the Russo Atrium. 

Titus Kaphar left his father’s house when he was just fifteen. Twenty years later, after zero contact, his father reappeared, wanting to reconnect. Titus spent the next three days recording their conversations: asking questions, using the camera screen as a means of distance and objectivity. Later, when searching into his father’s past, he not only found his criminal record, but the records of 99 other men—all Black, and all bearing the exact same name. Born out of this frightening discovery was The Jerome Project: paintings, video art, sculptures, and even a growing initiative to help young people with family locked inside the criminal justice system. 

But for Titus, this is not an isolated body of work; rather, it’s one he’s been struggling with his entire life. In this deeply personal keynote, he confronts the full complexity of the American judicial system—its inequalities, its raw enormity—through his own lived experiences. In so doing, he puts a human face to an all-too-American story (much like his own father’s particular story, and life, dovetails with the social history and myths of black criminality). In essence, and like any great artist, Titus brings immediacy to abstraction—making distant notions about equity and racial justice as familiar, and moving, as a portrait of someone we love.

This program is co-sponsored by the Dartmouth Dialogue Project, Studio Art Department, Art History Department, African and African American Studies, Institute for Black Intellectual and Cultural Life, Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, and Leslie Center for the Humanities.

For more information, contact:
Sharon Reed

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.