by Maria Sofou
Texts, a video, quilts, textiles and installations compose Paul Rucker’s latest, provocative exhibition, called Rewind, in Baltimore Museum of Art. The artist’s plural vision aims to narrate the history of racism in America in a certainly unconventional way. KKK robes recreated with modern, colorful fabrics, a series of white papers shot with Glock 22 bullets on purpose, a video pointing out the 2.3 million people who are imprisoned in the USA, a collection of quilts depicting lynchings, an installation that utilizes the image of a widely sold target, modified to depict a hooded individual, in the form of a blanket.
At a time when America is highly criticized by the world for its racist police brutality against African-American people, which has resulted in the death of numerous unarmed citizens over the years, Rucker’s artworks couldn’t be more current: Rewind uses powerful symbols of American racist violence as a way to shock the viewer’s eye and more importantly as a way to communicate the past with the present. “The purpose of this exhibition is to make a clear testimony on what has happened, is happening and will, undoubtedly happen again in the future”– it speaks the shocking truth. America’s most black pages of history are exposed, reflecting on today’s violent context.