Warner Gallery Features Question Bridge: Black Males

The Warner Gallery is currently featuring Question Bridge: Black Males, which is a transmedia art project created by three artists: Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas and Bayeté Ross Smith.
Question Bridge is an exhibit that I saw at the Brooklyn Museum six years ago, and it has stuck with me,” said Art Department Chair Sarah MacWright. “I’m eager to hear the reactions of our community.”
Question Bridge: Black Males includes a video installation, which is currently being displayed in the Warner Gallery, as well as an interactive website and a book published by Aperture. To create Question Bridge, artists Johnson, Willis, and Ross Smith traveled across the United States to give black men the opportunity to ask and answer questions on camera.
As outlined in the artist statement for the project, “this is as critical period in history for the Black community. In recent years, many have been able to transcend racial, cultural, and economic boundaries, which others have found themselves increasingly confined to the margins of society.”

Johnson, along with his fellow artists, Willis and Ross Smith, studied social science research, which showed that there are “effective means of overcoming negative bias about Black males,” and that one of which is being “exposed to more complex, multi-faceted, and whole images and narratives,” of their experiences. This is what Question Bridge hopes to accomplish; and, through sharing the experiences of Black males vividly, candidly, and in a multi-media format, the artists aim to help people overcome such bias.
Chris Johnson, who is the creator of the Question Bridge concept, will be visiting Millbrook in the coming weeks to meet with students and visit with classes. Johnson originated the concept behind the project with a video installation that he created for the Museum of Photographic Arts and the Malcolm X library in San Diego in 1996. He is currently a full professor of photography at the California College of the Arts, where he has served as President of the Faculty Senate for over ten years.
Millbrook is able to feature Question Bridge, as well as to soon host Chris Johnson, through the generosity of alumnus John Berkey ’91, whose sponsorship is driven by the goal of bringing more artists to campus.
Last year, Millbrook was able to welcome Roberto Lugo and Rowan Willigan through Mr. Berkey’s ’91 generosity, and the school is thrilled to be able to continue to welcome professional artists to campus this year.
“When we initially began discussion about bringing different artists to campus, we knew that we wanted people who would foster collaboration,” said Art Department Chair Sarah MacWright. “We are excited to welcome Johnson in the coming weeks because he will do just that, as he will be able to work with students in multiple disciplines, including artistic and academic.”

Millbrook looks forward to welcoming Chris Johnson, as well as to learning from other artists throughout the series.