In the Living Room: The Ethics of Black Aesthetics

black and white image of a upholstered chair beside a table with framed family photos

Jorian Charlton, Teaneck, 2012.


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In the Living Room: The Ethics of Black Aesthetics

Saturday February 9, 2 PM
5th Floor Contemporary Tower

Join us for a discussion between multidisciplinary artists Amber Williams-King and Oreka James as they explore the responsibility and ethics of making culturally specific work.

What does it mean to create work that speaks to or from a particular community? In what ways can artists represent black figures in their work without contributing to a history of objectification? How are black artists resisting cooptation from external forces as they reclaim ownership of their bodies, identities and cultural images?

Amber Williams-King is a multi-disciplinary Antiguan artist practicing in Tkaronto. Working in a variety of mediums, including textiles, photography and printmaking, she sees mixed media as a way of acknowledging the multiplicity and fluidity of being. This self-taught practice seeks to challenge notions of a monolithic Black experience; exploring sexuality, gender, race, representation and the intersections of identity. She has exhibited across the city and collaborated on a number of community projects with a focus on challenging anti-blackness and state-sanctioned violence against marginalized bodies. Most recently she was a finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award.

Oreka James is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. She is informed by the complexities surrounding the construction of Blackness and the constant surveillance of Black people. Currently she is concerned with sharing the stories of Black womxn. Her work intimately recalls people, places and stories overlooked from explicitly Black womxn revealing love, sexuality, mental health and healing.


In the Living Room is a series of three conversations programmed by artist Ojo Agi and held in the Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires exhibition on the AGO’s Fifth floor Contemporary Tower.

In the Living Room: The Dis/Appearing Black Body
with Jorian Charlton and Shantel Miller
2pm Saturday January 19, 2019

In the Living Room: The Ethics of Black Aesthetics
with Amber Williams-King and Oreka James
2pm Saturday February 9, 2019

In the Living Room: Space, Race and Gender  
with Noah Brown and Adrienne Matheuszik
2pm Saturday March 2, 2019

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