Oct 31st 2020


@ FLXST Contemporary

2251 S Michigan Ave Suite 220 Chicago, IL 60616

Opening Saturday, October 31st, from 5:30PM - 8PM

On view through Sunday, December 6th

This exhibition has been canceled.


FLXST Contemporary
October 31 – December 6, 2020
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 31, 5:30-8 pm
ZOOM TALK: Sunday, November 1, 4:00-5:15 pm (CST)

Over twenty years ago, several classmates and I founded an officially recognized student organization called Students for the Abolition of Whiteness (SAW) at the University of Chicago. During this time, our ideas about whiteness’ ontological necessity to racialize our society and its ability to accumulate and transfer unwarranted privilege were disparaged by campus journals of all political persuasions. Nonetheless, SAW managed to cultivate a university-wide dialogue on how race functions throughout campus, Hyde Park, and America. SAW’s lasting artifact is an essay written for the Winter 1997 issue of Race Traitor which is reprinted on the verso of exhibition posters.

Generational change marks the time between my undergraduate studies and the present. Whereas the Rodney King protests and riots were confined to greater Los Angeles, recent police brutalities have sparked outrage and unleashed protests from coast to coast. Today, Black Lives Matter signs are visible in front of homes, stores, and even emblazoned on NBA basketball courts. Our world is increasingly able to confront racial discrimination, and alongside acknowledgement and affirmation of those othered by whiteness is a rising awareness of whiteness, itself.

ABOLISH WHITENESS NOW is part of a growing understanding that whiteness, alone, lies at the bottom of a racialized world. ABOLISH WHITENESS NOW seeks to further consciousness of whiteness’ immense power to marginalize and disenfranchise. Above all, ABOLISH WHITENESS NOW is a vehicle for self-reflection.

Our experiences in and around Hyde Park opened SAW’s eyes to racial discrimination, but it was Noel Ignatiev, historian, activist, and author of How the Irish Became White who showed us how to understand what we were witnessing. He was a human being who befriended us at a time when we were still searching for our individual places in this world. He passed almost one year ago today, and this exhibition simply would not exist without Noel.

ABOLISH WHITENESS NOW presents four drawings and two paintings originally slated for exhibition in April that have been reworked during this pandemic. The exhibition also presents a floor-to-ceiling installation of exhibition posters and a letter of correspondence. Exhibition posters are printed and made possible by the labor and care of Rakish Light Press (Brian O’Connell and Deirdre O’Dwyer).

FLXST Contemporary
2251 South Michigan Ave, Suite 220
Chicago, IL 60616
(773) 413-8030

Reservations are required for the opening reception as well as for regular visits to gallery:

ZOOM TALK: Sunday, November 1, 4:00-5:15 pm (CST)
Public conversation hosted by Patrick Lynn Rivers and Kai Wood Mah of afield with James Kao.

Join Zoom Meeting :
Meeting ID: 989 5562 1224
One tap mobile +16475580588,,98955621224# Canada
+17789072071,,98955621224# Canada

Official Website

More events on this date

Tags: , , , ,