Paul Rucker’s newest art installation “Rewind” at the Baltimore Museum of Art isn’t just provocative, it provides commentary about today’s race relations.
The installation includes media pieces that mix kente cloth and KKK attire and the artist says, it’s not just black history, but American history.
Rucker received an esteemed Baker Artist Award this year. A self-taught visual artist and classical musician—a cellist—and composer, he combines media, integrating visual art with sound from his original compositions. He has collected artifacts that tell stories of American’s painful past. A Confederate $100 bill with a picture of enslaved Africans toiling away on the back, a picture of a KKK event where Coca-Cola was the sponsor, the 1860 census, historic postcards depicting lynchings, and a copy of a book entitled White Supremacy and Negro Subordination, among other items.
“This show is not about black America; it’s about America,” Rucker says as a speaker box whistles in the background. A part of his installation, the box whistles every 67 minutes—the amount of time it took the jury to acquit Emmett Till’s killers.
Rucker’s work touches on issues that plague today’s society. From incarceration, the prison-industrial complex, slavery and racial disparities. Rucker says the theme behind “Rewind” an attempt to connect the past to the present.