Oakland Police Shooting/Arkansas Anti-Education Mob, 2012
Acrylic on plexiglas
Bissell pulls apart two moments of racialized violence that have been immortalized in the public imagination through their iconic documentation – the murder of the unarmed Oscar Grant by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in 2009, and the first day of integration by the Little Rock Nine in Arkansas in 1957. Over time, Bissell has explored how the ways that he sees and reacts to moments like these dictate strategies for challenging racial violence. By altering these flashpoint moments so they are not immediately recognizable, Bissell seeks to slow his own reaction in an attempt to see them not as isolated events that vilify an individual, but as reflective of a society and state in which these events repeatedly occur. Choosing to focus on the legacy of white violence, Bissell asks: Do I turn away? Do I hate? Who do I blame? Can I see myself in this history? What is the intention of my response? How do I define and work for justice in these cases?
Motion Graphics: In and Beyond the Street
June 13 – August 25, 2012
Intersection for the Arts
San Francisco, CA
Photo credit: Scott Chernis