Acclaimed artist Zora Murff to speak at CSU Sept. 6

Zora Murff
Zora Murff

Zora Murff, an internationally exhibited artist and assistant professor of photography at the University of Arkansas, confronts the power racial profiling holds in contemporary society through his exhibition Re-making the Mark, now at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art through Sept. 6.

Through this exhibition, presented with the Center for Fine Photography, Murff conveys both historical and current examples of violence facing black Americans.

On Sept. 6, students and faculty will have the opportunity to listen to Murff speak at 5 p.m. in the Organ Recital Hall at the University Center for the Arts. A reception will follow immediately after the artist talk in the museum. This event is free to the public, and RSVPs are not required.

Murff specializes in photography, and his art has appeared in Aperture Magazine, The New YorkerVICE MagazineThe British Journal of Photography, and The New York Times.

Through his art, Murff uses the power of imagery to address the ever-changing concepts of race, power, and violence and how their interconnectedness continues to influence American society. Re-Making the Mark depicts issues like police brutality to call attention to 21st century social issues that continue to face black Americans.

Two birds flying above a fence
One of Murff’s pieces, “Dark pages written white (release),” displays a dark fence that divides two flying birds, set against a white-washed sky. This piece is just one example of how Murff uses symbolic imagery to convey the ongoing wrongs committed against black Americans by their white counterparts.

“I don’t know how many videos of black people being killed by police officers I have watched,” Murff said. “But I know the power these images possess.”

Murff not only acknowledges contemporary racial issues but also draws an important distinction in his art between “fast” and “slow” violence. According to Murff, fast violence indicates an imminent risk, while slow violence indicates a delayed risk relating to prejudices within policy and social structures that indirectly incite violence.

“The oppression of black individuals in America has continued to evolve, expanding the ways in which racial violence is perpetrated,” Murff said. “In this body of work, witnessing is intertwined with critical analysis, and I provide a deeper understanding of systemic white supremacy and the resulting violence therein.”

Learn more about and other exhibitions at the museum this fall by visiting The Gregory Allicar Museum of Art is part of Colorado State University’s College of Liberal Arts.