Friday, April 21, 1989 - Front Page

Artist: Alexandra Bell
miscellaneous | Photolitho and screenprint on paper | 572x432mm | 2019

In her prints, Alexandra Bell revisits articles from the New York Daily News that reflect the paper’s coverage of the now infamous 1989 Central Park Five case, in which five innocent teenage boys of color were wrongly convicted of assaulting and raping a white female jogger in Central Park. Bell highlights headlines and body text and redacts photos to draw attention to latent failings in journalistic objectivity, and to interrogate how journalism can perpetuate racialized violence through language. The title of Bell’s series refers to a 1994 essay by critical theorist Sylvia Wynter, No Humans Involved, in which the writer responds to a radio report on the riots that followed the 1992 acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers who brutally beat an unarmed Rodney King. According to that report, public officials in the city routinely used the acronym NHI—“no humans involved”—to describe cases involving young Black men like King.(from the series No Humans Involved: After Sylvia Wynter, 2018-2019,Collection of the artist)


Whitney Biennial 2019 | 2019.05.17 - 2019.09.22 | Whitney Museum of American Art(New York City, NY, United States)