Exhibitions Evidence by Joshua Rashaad McFadden
February 21-June 27, 2020 VSW Gallery
Reframing societal views regarding Black masculinity and gender identity has been a driving force behind Joshua Rashaad McFadden’s paradigm-shifting visual work over the past several years. In Come to Selfhood, his multi-award-winning book, McFadden paired formal portraits of contemporary men, including himself, alongside those of their fathers or primary father figures; each person’s intimate handwritten responses to survey questions about perceptions and expectations about Black men specifically, men of color generally, and its impact personally and culturally, are arranged in between.
Evidence builds upon that work with new portraits and perspectives that offer even more nuanced exploration around masculinity, gender identity as well as conformity, and resistance, individually and societally—writings and conversations featuring playwright Jireh Holder, creative K. Anthony Jones, actor/singer Dyllon Burnside, and director/photographer/curator/writer Thomas Allen Harris provide additional context.
In homage to Rochester, NY adopted son and American icon Frederick Douglass and his pioneering North Star newspaper, Evidence is both a newspaper and an exhibition. Evidence dispensers, planted at various locations throughout the city, will distribute free newspapers to a broad cross-section of the community that includes numerous schools as well as social and religious groups.
Joshua Rashaad McFadden is an American visual artist whose primary medium is photography. McFadden explores the use of archival material within his work and is known for his portraiture. He also conceptually investigates themes related to identity, masculinity, history, race, and sexuality. He is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.
VSW Exhibitions are made possible by in part by the Visual Art Program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Max and Marian Farash Foundation; Joy of Giving Something; and Monroe County.