Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation

Institute of Contemporary Art



Ulysses Jenkins, Talking Hut, 1994, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA. Photo courtesy of the artist.


Ulysses Jenkins, Two Zone Transfer, 1979. Still of video transferred to DVD, color, sound, 23:52 min. Photo courtesy of the artist.

A major retrospective will spotlight the pioneering work of Ulysses Jenkins, who emerged in the late 1970s as one of the first Black video artists. Jenkins’ works interrogate Black stereotypes and provoke questions about the representation of race and gender in media and popular culture. Co-organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and curated by Meg Onli and Erin Christovale, the exhibition will be presented at both venues and accompanied by a digital archive and robust catalogue. In addition to Jenkins’ video work, the exhibition will include mural paintings, photography, and the restaging of two of his major performance works, Bay Window (1991) and Talking Hut (1994). Using current video technology, the performances will connect artists in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, South Africa, and London, capturing the artist’s original intent to foster international collaboration and increase access to shared art experiences.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.