Oliver Kamm/5BE Gallery is pleased to announce Joe Ovelman’s second solo show with the gallery. “For Whites Only” is an investigation into race and culture in America. Ovelman confronts racism and questions identity.
"For Whites Only" will feature Ovelman’s largest participatory project to date.
"Rosa Parks 381" includes 381 Polaroids of the artist, taken and signed by 381 individuals who could self-identify as African-American. The number in the title commemorates the number of days of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and is inspired by the James Baldwin quote, "I’ll be black for as long as you tell me that you are white".
"Regi", 2005 is a video in which the paid subject, chosen for his African decent, stands naked and confined to one end of a room for 8 hours, the length of a typical work day. The video was shot in Porto Seguro, Brazil, a historic slave-trading port.
Also on view: “7 Gold Lynchings,” miniature, bound figures sculpted in wire;
“Twelve Drawings,” anecdotes of racism from the artist’s life; and a compilation CD, “Nigga in the Title," featuring twenty-four songs whose titles include the word nigga.
Ovelman asks, out of 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months a year, when am I white?