Ongoing Exhibition: "The Pass/Fail Series"
In 2016, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University awarded the twenty-fourth Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize to American artist, illustrator, and documentarian Steven M. Cozart for "The Pass/Fail Series." The $10,000 prize supports documentary artists whose extended fieldwork projects rely on the interplay of words and images. As part of his Lange-Taylor Prize, selections from Cozart's work, which primarily explores colorism within the African American community, are now on view at CDS in an interactive exhibition. A reception and artist's talk will be held at CDS on January 18, 2018, 6-8 p.m. (talk at 7 p.m.).
The Durham, North Carolina, native's ongoing body of work is meant to spark introspective dialogue about issues of "classism and stereotyping by African Americans toward other African Americans based on several factors, including skin tone, hair texture, gender roles, and other myths and fallacies prevalent in the community," he says.
For "The Pass/Fail Series," Cozart has interviewed, filmed, and photographed family, friends, colleagues, and students-African Americans of various backgrounds and ages. Using this source material, he then creates combinations of imagery and text.
Cozart explains, "my ultimate goal is to spark conversations both inside and outside of the community as a means to create understanding and hopefully minimize, or even eradicate, fallacies and preconceptions."