• July 5 - October 28, 2018
  • CIIS Main Building
    Desai | Matta Gallery
    1453 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA 94103
Add to Calendar 07/05/2018 10/28/2018 America/Los_Angeles Zora J Murff: Re-Making the Mark In this exhibition Zora J Murff engages a painful poetics to explore the relationship between fast and slow violence, and reinterprets existing narratives of race, violence, and power. CIIS Main Building
Desai | Matta Gallery
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Deirdre Visser, Curator of The Arts at CIIS arts@ciis.edu true MM/DD/YYYY

Free and Open to the Public


In this exhibition, which includes two ongoing projects, A Lineage (An Erasure), and At No Point In Between, Zora J Murff reinterprets existing narratives of race, violence, and power by exploring the relationship between fast and slow violence. The centerpiece of the exhibition pairs archival images from spectators of a lynching, with a casket-like installation of a plinth fabricated from construction materials mounded with 98 used bricks laser-etched with the text, Lest We Forget. Ninety-eight marks the number of years that have passed since the 1919 lynching of Will Brown in Omaha.

In this work–and throughout the exhibition–Murff connects the destructive legacy of government-endorsed discriminatory housing policies (slow violence) in North Omaha, a historically Black Nebraskan neighborhood, with the public spectacle of lynching (fast violence). In so doing he also engages the critical work of scholars like sociologist Rob Nixon, and UC Berkeley professor, Leigh Raiford, whose Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare points to the instability of lynching photographs–used first to celebrate and later to repudiate the gross inhumanity of this practice. This exhibition is timely and critically important, coming in the midst of incredible work by scholars, artists, and activists, and on the heels of the recent unveiling of the Equal Justice Initiative's memorial to the victims of lynching.

Zora J Murff is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Arkansas. Zora received his MFA in Studio Art from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds a BS in Psychology from Iowa State University. Combining his education in human services and art, Zora's photography focuses on how images are used to reinforce social and cultural constructs including race and criminality. His work has been exhibited nationally, internationally, and featured online.

Exhibition Programs
Reception and Conversation with the Zora J Murff
September 21, 2018; 6:30PM
Desai | Matta Gallery, First Floor

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