Reclamation II: Ruddy Roye & Curtis Talwst Santiago

Central Library

Locations: Dweck Lobby, Grand Lobby, 2nd and 3rd floors

Exhibition Opening and Artist Talk with Ruddy Roye November 7th, 7-9pm Dweck Auditorium. Reserve a spot.


The second of a two-part exhibition dedicated to issues of social justice, this show brings together photographs by Radcliffe “Ruddy” Roye and sculptures by Curtis Talwst Santiago as they focus on the Black experience, contrasting the realism of contemporary inequality and structural racism with the positive force of cultural resistance. The title of the exhibition, Reclamation, takes inspiration from these dual gestures of political resistance and cultural preservation expressed in their artwork. To reclaim is to reassert rights and, in another sense, to salvage material.  

Curtis Talwst Santiago’s captivating Infinity Series epitomizes the dual meanings of reclamation, as he repurposes jewelry boxes into miniature dioramas that narrate episodes of contemporary life and history, emphasizing the richness of the Black imaginary and culture as well as scenes of jarring contemporary injustice. These microcosms depict scenes of mass migration, police brutality, incarceration, as well as those of folklore and human prehistory. Brooklyn Public Library presents eight works of this series, and is proud to debut three new works.

Ruddy Roye’s camera is dedicated to making the complexity and richness of contemporary Black experience insistently visible and central to discussions on the state of American society. His ongoing photo project “When Living Is a Protest” is potent storytelling, addressing issues of police brutality, racism, structural inequality and social protest throughout the country, especially in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The series helped create a forum around rights and the Black Lives Matter movement on Instagram and beyond, earning him the title of Instagram Photographer of the Year in 2016 by Time Magazine.  Roye has reported on Hurricane Sandy, sexual abuse of women, Black fatherhood, and many other issues, weaving together an urgent and complex document of American life. For Reclamation, BPL presents 27 photographs as triptychs throughout Central Library, creating an arresting experience of Roye's portraits, which capture homelessness, urban life, the South, the Black Lives Matter movement and Brooklyn’s Afropunk and J’ouvert festivals—a panoply of contemporary life reclaimed through his lens.


About the Artists

Radcliffe "Ruddy" Roye (b. 1969, Jamaica) is a Brooklyn based documentary photographer specializing in editorial and environmental portraits and photo-journalism photography. His photography has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue, Ebony, Fast Company, BET and ESPN. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts; Silver Eye Center for Photography; the Chastain Arts Center; Alice Austen House and Photoville. He has held teaching positions at New York University and the School of Visual Arts and has lectured at Columbia University. Roye is one of the youngest members of the Kamoinge Workshop, the seminal and enduring black photography collective founded in 1963. Ruddy Roye has amassed over 250,000 Instagram followers, and uploaded over 4,000 posts. In 2016, Time Magazine named him Instagram Photographer of the Year. He is a leading figure on Instagram among documentary photographer showcasing an interest in communities.

Curtis Talwst Santiago (b. 1979, Canada) is a former apprentice of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Santiago has exhibited internationally in solo and group shows including at the Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY), Perez Art Museum (Miami, FL), the Art Gallery of Mississauga (Mississauga, Canada), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Canada), Cooper Cole (Toronto, Canada), the New Museum (New York, NY), ICA at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA), Analix Forever (Geneva, Switzerland), Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) and the Dakar Biennial (Senegal, Africa). Following his stint as an artist-in-residence at Pioneer Works (Brooklyn, NY), he participated in a residency with Gallery MOMO (Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa). His work is included in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY). Santiago lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.

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