Known for his photographs of Minneapolis' urban communities, Wing Young Huie has long lived and worked in some of the city's most diverse and bustling neighborhoods. His new one in south Minneapolis was recently the site of a stabbing: 22-year old Justin Jackson was killed Friday at an intersection near Wing's studio. Police won't be pressing charges as the stabbing was ruled self-defense and likely gang-related. On Facebook today, Wing reflects on the situation and welcomes visitors to the neighborhood for today's vigil to stop by his studio. While "art and engagement" is a buzzword in the institutional artworld these days -- and an admirable one at that -- I respect the many artists like Wing who embody it, by opening their studios or using their work to reflect and examine who we are and how we're connected.
His Facebook message and photo (above):
The tragic stabbing death last Friday in front of my Third Place Gallery on 38th & Chicago has been highly charged, provoking a multitude of reactions from paralyzing fear to connective support. It shocks and exposes our bubbled realities.
I've been interacting with many of the mourners keeping a vigil, inviting them into my gallery as the blood stained sidewalk became a growing shrine. To consider all the things that had to happen, the confluence of personal and historical dynamics, in this neighborhood, in this country, to bring this horrible incident to my front door, ostensibly over a pair of shoes, is dizzying and incomprehensible.
How will this corner and beyond respond to this and its rippling currents? The wake is today, Wednesday August 24, 2011. Sometime after 3 pm a large contingent will converge here to pay their respects. A very, very large police force will be here also.
I will be here too. All are welcome to come to The Third Place today and show their support.
Wing Young Huie