In a time when talk of losing — losing lives, losing political battles, losing rights — can overwhelm the national conversation, “Nine Moments for Now,” an exhibition at Harvard’s Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at the Hutchins Center, explores the question: “What does winning look like?”
The activist DeRay Mckesson raised the question during a 2015 Hutchins Forum, and it has stayed with exhibition curator Dell Marie Hamilton ever since. In the age of #BlackLivesMatter, #TimesUp, and the current administration, answering it felt urgent, she said.
“We hope that this exhibition enables us all to slow down long enough to remember that democracy, time, and memory are as poetic, unruly, and fragile as body and breath,” she noted.
The exhibition, which features 34 artists and 106 pieces of art, is part of For Freedoms’ 50 State initiative, a nonpartisan campaign that uses art to inspire civic participation and is “the largest creative collaboration in our nation’s history,” according to its website.
Hamilton says the exhibition, which had one of the biggest openings the Cooper Gallery has ever had, is also an opportunity for artists, thinkers, and writers to create meaningful responses to social engagement and political discourse.
“Nine Moments for Now” will be on view until Jan. 21. The gallery, located at 102 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, is open Tuesday through Saturday. It will be closed from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day. To find out more about the exhibition, visit the Cooper Gallery website.