Friday, September 12, 2008

Moving Walls 12: Imaging Issues, Imagining Solutions

Moving Walls 12: Imaging Issues, Imagining Solutions presented by the Open Society Institute-Baltimore in parnership with Art on Purpose was on view from September 2nd through the 14th at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art at the Murphy Fine Arts Center. In this exhibition, eight Baltimore photographers were asked to create a photographic response to Kike Arnal’s series In the Shadows of Power: Poverty in Washington DC. Participating Baltimore photographers were Michael Cantor, Evelyn Chatmon, Marshall Clarke, Andy Cook, Peggy Fox, Frank Klein, Sofia Silva, and Alex Valente. Paired along with the photographs were comments made by various individuals, ranging from the currently homeless to social advocates, in response to the images. Open Society Institute-Baltimore says that “the elements making up Imaging Issues, Imagining Solutions are not intended to offer easy answers to a complex of entrenched problems. Rather, the various voices and perspectives point out both the difficulty and urgency of understanding the social dynamic at work.”

In these photographs we see the artists paralleling the issues affecting both metropolitan areas. Although the original work focused on “Poverty in Washington DC”, we are presented with the same problems in the Baltimore photographs. Poverty and racial inequality are still national problems. Kike Arnal said that “as an outsider, it was stunning to see such conditions in America’s capital, perhaps the most powerful city in the world”. This exhibit reminds us that although we have come far to create equality and a higher standard of living, many problems still run rampant. With the capital of the United States showing these extremes in living conditions and lifestyles, what does that really say about the United States as a whole?

The James E. Lewis Museum at the Murphy Fine Arts Center is located on the Morgan State University Campus on Argonne Drive between Hillen and Harford Road.

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