Elizabeth Axtman: The Love Renegade #308: I Love You Keith Bardwell (Phase 1)

Watch an excerpt from The Love Renegade #308 here:

Locations and screening information:

September 16 – December 10, 2011
SFAC Main Gallery
401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister)
Wednesday-Saturday: 12:00-5:00pm

September 16 – October 1, 2011
Mission Cultural Center For Latino Arts in the Lobby
2868 Mission Street
Monday: 5:00-9:45pm | Tuesday-Friday: 10:00am to 9:45pm | Saturday: 10:00-5:30pm

October 12 – November 13
Museum of the African Diaspora in the Celebration Gallery
685 Mission Street (at Third)
San Francisco, CA  94105

November 28 – December 10
SOMArts at The Ramp gallery
934 Brannan St.
San Francisco, CA  94103

Dates TBA
Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco in the Foyer
750 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA  94108

Dates TBA
Bayview Opera House
4705 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94124

Dates TBA
African American Art and Culture Complex
726 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA  94102

Click here for more information about SHIFT

Artist’s Statement

The Love Renegade is an ongoing series of works that focus on sending positive messages and forgiveness to those in our society that have enacted acts of hatred.

Keith Bardwell, a former Robert, Louisiana, Justice of the Peace, made headlines in 2009 for his refusal to marry an interracial couple. Bardwell explained on national television that he had seen "countless" interracial couples whose “offspring” had been rejected by family members and society at large. He claimed he did not want to see this happen again. When reading this, I recalled all the times I heard people use the excuse, “I’m not a racist, I just worry about the kids.”  I believe this excuse comes from two places: (1) the under representation of interracial families and persons in popular culture; and (2) the lasting effects of the tragic mulatto character from Jim Crow and beyond.

For the exhibition at the SFAC Gallery I am presenting the first component of my new project, The Love Renegade #308: I love You Keith Bardwell (Phase 1); a short film featuring interviews with biracial people – toddlers to the elderly. They discuss their experience as children of interracial unions, and their relationship to racial identification in a post-millennial America. They tell Keith that they’re doing well and after every interview they say, “I love you Keith Bardwell.” Individuals will be interviewed in both New York City and San Francisco.

Elizabeth Axtman
(b.1980, American; lives and works in Oakland, California & Brooklyn, NY)

Elizabeth Axtman is a photographer and video artist.  She received her BA from San Francisco State University in 2004 and completed her MFA in photography, film, video, and new media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006.  She was also a participant in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Drawing in 2006 Summer Residency Program. Axtman joins a group of young cultural producers and critical thinkers who engage the African American experience though myriad historical and popular references that seek to turn the dialogue on race and gender on its head.  Her video and photo-based works engage race and power in the contemporary age; steeped in humor, defiance, and confrontation. She has participated in exhibitions and festivals at the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago, Gene Siskel Film Center Gallery, Gallery 2; Diaspora Vibe Gallery, Miami; Arthouse, Austin, Tex; ThisIsNotaGallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina; The Studio Museum of Harlem, in NYC; and The Contemporary Art Museum, Houston.  She has lectured at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Art Institute, Evergreen State College, and Sarah Lawrence College, and is a recipient of the Skowhegan Endowment for Scholarship Foundation.  Her work has been reviewed in Art ForumArt PapersHouston Chronicle, and her video American Classics was used as the lead image for the catalog (and press) for the much acclaimed exhibition Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women and the Moving Image Since 1970.

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