The artists featured in The Black Index-Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas-build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Their translations of photography challenge the medium’s long-assumed qualities of objectivity, legibility, and identification.
Using drawing, 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. The works featured here offer an alternative practice-a Black index. In the hands of these six artists, the index still serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but it also challenges viewers’ desire for classification and, instead, redirects them toward alternative information.