PORTLAND — On May 7 from 8-9 p.m., you might notice huge videos of people kneeling on the buildings in Monument Square. This is the result of LumenARRT! (lumenarrt.org) joining forces with the Kneeling Art Photography Project (thekneelingartphotography.com) under the direction of Titi de Baccarat. This community social justice/art project explores the meaning and evolution of the Take-A-Knee gesture by having Maine photographers turn their cameras on diverse Mainers who express why they are kneeling. This project will culminate in a series of art exhibitions throughout the state, as well as the publication of a book.
From June 4-25, see the project at SISTERED Gallery, 525 Danforth Street, Portland; July 2-30, at The Francis, 747 Congress Street, Portland; Aug. 6-27 at the UMVA Gallery, 516 Congress Street, Portland; and Sept. 3-29 at IMRC, University of Maine, Orono.
“There’s no formal First Friday Art Walk in May,” said LumenARRT’s Geoffrey Leighton “But we think people will be ready to get out and experience a celebration of kneeling — with proper social distancing, of course! We’re very excited to have West African drumming from Portland-based New Moon Ensemble from 8-8:45 p.m. (https://embodytherhythm.com/new-moon-ensemble/) and Blues from The Ideal Maine Social Aid and Sanctuary Band (facebook.com/IdealMESocailAidSanctuaryBand) from 8:45-9:30 p.m. for this community art event.”
“To expand on the idea of average peoples’ struggles being worthy of monuments,” said LumenARRT!’s Nora Tryon. “The two projects will also be using lights to cast the shadows of passers-by on buildings. We hope people will come by for a great selfie moment!”
“LumenARRT!’s mission is to support nonprofits in Maine by amplifying issues of social, environmental and economic justice,” said LumenARRT!’s Anita Clearfield. “Taking a knee is a formal pose and the sub-text is that this pose is taken until things change. Our projections suggest a re-thinking of the monuments that exist in our public spaces and bring anti-racist possibilities into the public conversation.”