The Black Index

  • The Black Index

The Black Index

Curated by Bridget R. Cooks


January 14 - March 20, 2021


Exhibit space (closed to public):
Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) Gallery

The Black Index exhibition features works by artists Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas. They build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, these artists question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and historical understanding. Read more at the UAG site here.


Artist & Scholar Zoom Events Hosted by UCI:

  • January 14, 2021, 3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
    "Black Manicule: Pointing Elsewhere"
    Courtney R. Baker, Professor, Department of English, UC Riverside.
    RSVP for the event here. | More Info
  • February 4, 2021, 3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
    "A Study in Blackness and Black Identity"
    Cherise Smith, Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin.
    ​RSVP for the event here.

Other Artist & Scholar Zoom Events:

  • January 15, 2021, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    "The Black Index: Artists in Conversation"
    Lava Thomas, artist, with Leigh Raiford, Professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley; and Whitfield Lovell, artist, with LeRonn Brooks, Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections, The Getty Research Institute.
    This event is hosted by The Getty. RSVP for the event here.
  • January 21, 2021, 3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
    "The Dark Database"
    Dennis Delgado, artist, with Calvin John Smiley, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Hunter College.
    This event is hosted by The Hunter College Art Galleries. RSVP for the event here.
  • February 18, 2021, 3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
    Alicia Henry, Professor of Art, Fisk University with Bridget R. Cooks, Professor and Exhibition Curator, UC Irvine.
    This event is hosted by the Palo Alto Art Center. RSVP for the event here.
  • February 19, 2021, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
    "The Black Index: Archiving Black Creativity and Resistance"
    Simone Fujita, Bibliographer, African American Art History Initiative at The Getty Research Institute with Krystal Tribbett, Curator for Orange County Regional History, UC Irvine.
    This event is hosted by the Getty. RSVP for the event here.


Please stay tuned for a virtual tour experience of the exhibition.
All performances will be pre-recorded and shared at a later date.
Re​ad more at the UAG site here.


All events are free to the public.


Register Now
(Free UCI Hosted Events)




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Image: Titus Kaphar, "Redaction (San Francisco)," 2020. Etching and silkscreen on paper. Courtesy of Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts. Photo by Christopher Gardener.




Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm
The Black Index presents:
"Black Manicule: Pointing Elsewhere"

Courtney R. Baker, Professor, Department of English, UC Riverside.
Hosted by UCI
RSVP for the event here.

The manicule (☚) is a typographic symbol of a hand with a pointing index finger. This talk will discuss art practices and images that point to, away from, and beyond fixed ideas of Black life.

Dr. Courtney R. Baker is a specialist on the impact of visual culture in Black life. She is an Associate Professor in the department of English at University of California, Riverside. Her book, Humane Insight: Looking at Images of African-American Suffering and Death, was published in the New Black Studies series, edited by Darlene Clark Hine and Dwight McBride, by the University of Illinois Press in 2015. She has written academic and popular essays on African-American film, the history of the image in African-American activism, and the ethics of narratives about death. She teaches courses on Black film, African-American literature, race and ethnicity in American Studies, cultural studies, and critical theories of the human and the visual. 

Discussion moderated by Bridget R. Cooks.

This event is made possible by the UCI Black Thriving Initiative.