Lyle Ashton Harris: Today I Shall Judge Nothing That Occurs

Selections from the Ektachrome Archive

Photographs by Lyle Ashton Harris. Introduction by Johanna Burton. Contributions by Vince Aletti, Martina Attille, Ulrich Baer, Gr...

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Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, a radical cultural scene emerged in cities across the globe, finding expression in the galleries, nightclubs, and bedrooms of New York, London, Los Angeles, and Rome. In Lyle Ashton Harris: Today I Shall Judge Nothing That Occurs, the artist’s archive of 35 mm Ektachrome images are presented alongside journal entries and recollections from a host of artistic and cultural figures. It offers a unique document of what Harris has described as “ephemeral moments and emblematic figures shot in the 1980s and ’90s, against a backdrop of seismic shifts in the art world, the emergence of multiculturalism, the second wave of AIDS activism, and incipient globalization.”

As a young artist experimenting with installation, performance, and collage at the time, Harris obsessively photographed his friends, lovers, and individuals who either were, or would become, figures of influence, such as Marlon Riggs, Cornel West, bell hooks, Stuart Hall, Klaus Biesenbach, Nan Goldin, Catherine Opie, Glenn Ligon, and others. The images record the confluence of multiple international communities—gathering points for the exchange of ideas and the development of theoretical positions on art and culture that continue to resonate to this day. Together, these photographs and the journals not only sketch a personal history of a unique time of importance to contemporary art, but also show the development and shaping of Harris’s eye and influences as an artist.

Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 288
Number of images: 155
Publication date: 2017-11-05
Measurements: 7.13 x 9.5 x 1 inches
ISBN: 9781597114127

Photographs by Lyle Ashton Harris. Introduction by Johanna Burton. Contributions by Vince Aletti, Martina Attille, Ulrich Baer, Gregg Bordowitz, Adrienne Edwards, Malik Gaines, Lucy Gallun, Thomas Allen Harris, Rashid Johnson, Thomas J. Lax, Sarah Lewis, Catherine Lord, Roxana Marcoci, Pamela Newkirk, Clarence Otis Jr., Robert Reid-Pharr, Robert Storr, Mickalene Thomas, and Iké Udé.

Lyle Ashton Harris has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photography and collage to installation and performance art. His work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender, fame, and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic. He received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Studies Program. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including at the Whitney; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; 52nd Venice Biennial, and São Paulo Biennial in 2016, among others. He is the recipient of the 2014 David C. Driskell Prize from the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and a 2016 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He currently lives and works in New York City and is an associate professor of art at New York University.
Johanna Burton, formerly the director of the graduate program at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, is the director and curator of education and public programs at the New Museum, New York.