Michael Darough: 10th Annual Perspectives in African-American Experience: Emerging Visions Residency and Exhibition

Mon, January 18, 2021 12:00 AM - Tue, March 30, 2021 12:00 AM at Virtual

Exhibition: The Talk

Artist: Michael Darough

Photographs remembering Black lives lost to police violence and exploring cycles of criminalization and mass incarceration in the U.S.


Launch: January 18, 2021 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

Exhibition link: https://emergingvisions.rcah.msu.edu 

Opening Reception:

2021 Social Justice Art Festival LIVE Opening Ceremony with Keynote talk by Michael Darough.

Monday, January 18, 2021, 3 p.m. EST:

Open to the public. Link: https://msu.zoom.us/j/95388157398 Password: SJAF2021


Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant (CIEG), Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Social Justice Art Festival


10th Annual Perspectives in African-American Experience: Emerging Visions Exhibition & Teaching Residency

Darough will be an artist in (digital) residence with RCAH from January 18 to February 26, during which time he will be a featured artist and guest juror of the MSU Social Justice Art Festival (January 18-21) and run a workshop in Guillermo Delgado’s class, “The Prison Poetry & ‘Zine Project.”

Keynote talk will be held on Monday, January 18 (MLK Jr. Day), 3:00 p.m. as the Social Justice Art Festival Opening ceremony


Exhibition Description:

In Michael Darough’s ongoing series “The Talk,” faceless men, viewed from behind, represent the stories of Black people murdered by police in the United States. Darough models for the photographs himself, inserting himself into each fatal scenario and shaping his own body into a memorial for each lost life. Distilling each story down to one pose and one prop, Darough highlights common denominators linking stories that might otherwise seem disparate, but which are structurally linked by systems of white supremacy, racial profiling, police violence, and cycles of criminalization and mass incarceration. Darough’s series bears witness to the numbing regularity with which high-profile stories emerge in the news of Black people victimized by US policing practices, while also — through a series of “Unknown Portraits” — honoring the countless other stories that struggle to be told or do not receive news coverage. 


Perspectives in African-American Experience: Emerging Visions is an annual paid residency for emerging and mid-career artists whose work reflects on Black, African-American, or African diasporic experience past or present and explores art as social activism. The opportunity includes a solo exhibition in the LookOut Art Gallery, traditionally opening on MLK Jr. Day, and an accompanying teaching residency including artist’s talk, class visits, workshops, and student and community engagement in the Residential College in the Arts & Humanities at Michigan State University.

Our 10th Annual Emerging Visions artist-in-residence for 2021 is Michael Darough, an artist and educator living in St. Louis, MO. Darough will be in residence with RCAH from January 18 to February 26, during which time he will also be a featured artist and guest juror of the MSU Social Justice Art Festival (January 18-21, https://sjaf.msu.edu). Due to COVID-19, the 10th Annual Emerging Visions exhibition and residency are being held online.



Image shows portrait of Michael DaroughMichael Darough graduated from the University of Memphis, earning an MFA in photography in 2011 and his BFA in photography from Arizona State University in 2007. His work explores the intersection of personal and cultural identity through tableau and portraiture. Darough received a Fulbright seminar grant addressing diversity in German education, which was hosted by the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.  He is a nationally exhibiting artist whose work has recently been shown at the Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado.  He is a Silver Eye Fellowship 20 recipient and a 2020 finalist for the Arnold Newman Prize For New Directions in Photographic Portraiture.  Currently, Darough is a practicing artist and educator working in St. Louis, Missouri.