A review of Ann Johnson's exhibition at Hooks-Epstein Gallery:
You can’t see, shortened from the phrase “You can’t see how you see me,” is an exhibition and body of work by Ann Johnson that addresses a plethora of issues facing people and communities of color today. On view at Hooks-Epstein Gallery through May 13, the exhibition touches on both gentrification and immigration, but the focus of the work is the Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name movements. In her statement, Johnson states that she references “double consciousness,” a term coined by W.E.B. DuBois regarding the necessity of African Americans having to view themselves through the eyes of others.
The artist holds a vested interest both in this idea, which becomes a means of survival for people of color, and in the lens through which viewers interpret her work. Johnson teases this idea out in the works on view, playing with the ideas of perspective and perception by making use of glasses and sunglasses.