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An exhibit at Columbia College’s Museum of Contemporary Photography showcases Ai’s work, and shows how he brings together art, activism – and selfies.The first and largest image in the exhibit “#Ai Weiwei” is Ai’s own face – a striking photograph taken during a 2009 arrest, after he spoke out about children killed during an earthquake because of poorly constructed schools. You can see the police in the picture, it’s a flash in the elevator of his hotel that they were taking him down in.
From those first images of the civil rights marches to the recent Occupy movements on both coasts, from his travels with the bikers, his visits to prisons and slums, to people’s homes and businesses, he has used his camera, atypically for a journalist—he characterizes it as “advocacy journalism”—to attend to the everyday, ordinary and extraordinary doings of humanity, whether alone or in groups, on the streets, in their homes, in prisons, even most recently in China.The performances are uniformly good, especially in the blank-eyed, unsettling stares from the African Americans that Chris encounters.While the racial aspect feels provocative, the movie works on multiple levels, from the basic jump-out-at-you thrills to the way the action builds toward its big reveals.Daniel Kaluuya (featured in "Sicario") stars as Chris, a photographer dating Rose (Allison Williams), who has convinced him to take a weekend trip to meet her parents.When he asks whether she has informed them that her new boyfriend is black, she assures him that her dad (Bradley Whitford) would have voted for Obama a third time if only he could.With "Get Out," writer-director-producer Jordan Peele -- half of the "Key & Peele" comedy team -- has delivered a bracing debut, a horror movie infused with biting social commentary and disarming humor.
Owing a debt to several culturally significant horror touchstones, most notably "The Stepford Wives," the film niftily probes how African Americans are treated by well-meaning whites, before the slightly awkward exchanges and tone-deaf references give way to something considerably creepier lurking beneath the neatly manicured surface.The key lies in how Peele deftly unfolds the plot, which starts out like an updated version of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" a half-century later and morphs into what resembles a good feature-length episode of "Black Mirror" or "The Twilight Zone." At first, Chris might even be guilty of paranoia, as Rose assures him her parents are simply kind of lame.Peele nicely offsets the growing tension with comedy via Chris' friend Rod (Montel "Lil Rel" Howery of NBC's "The Carmichael Show"), a TSA agent with mild delusions of grandeur, who keeps warning his pal that not much good can come from meeting Rose's folks.In fact, Etherton Gallery’s second show ever was a twenty-year (1962-1982) retrospective of Danny Lyon’s work.Etherton says that since the gallery began more than thirty years ago, his best-selling photographer has been Danny Lyon.This applies to the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of 70 years after the work was made available to the public and the author never disclosed their identity.