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“What I tell my students—and most of them are writers—is that the only way for them to get to a place where they’re making what they should be making, writing what they should be writing, is to work from a place of courage.”
Claudia Rankine is a skilled poet, playwright, essayist, and professor. She explores, across genres, how the act of witnessing is necessary in maintaining the social contract. During this period of immense global change, witnessing as an act is a powerful act for artists, who can incisively question the moral trajectory of a nation.
In this episode, hosted by Getty Research Institute associate curator Dr. LeRonn Brooks, Rankine shares her thoughts on the role art and artists play in determining the course of history, her approach to teaching a new generation of artists, and the importance of introspection and intention in shaping our collective future.
Rankine is professor of creative writing at New York University. She is the author of three plays and six collections, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; she has also edited several anthologies, including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. In 2016, she co-founded The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII). Her most recent book is Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf, 2020). She is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including MacArthur, Lannan Foundation, and Guggenheim fellowships.
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LeRonn Brooks: Hello, I’m LeRonn Brooks, Associate Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections at the Getty Research Institute. Welcome to Art + Ideas. I’m your host for a three-episode series about poetry and visual art.
Claudia Rankine: What I tell my students—and most of them are writers—is that the only way for them to get to a place where they’re making what they should be making, writing what they should be writing, is to work from a place of courage.
Brooks: In this episode I speak with writer Claudia Rankine.
Claudia Rankine is not constrained by genre. She is perhaps best known for her poetry, but she is equally skilled as an essayist and playwright. Her work is inspiring for many reasons, but one I find especially powerful is her belief in the importance of witnessing. For Claudia, witnessing is necessary in maintaining our social contract with one another. This act is vital for artists, because it is artists who can most incisively question the moral trajectory of the nation through their craft.
Claudia is a professor of creative writing at New York University and is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the MacArthur, Lannan Foundation, and Guggenheim fellowships.
In this episode, I speak with Claudia about the pivotal role that art and artists play in determining the course of history and the importance of introspection and intention in shaping unforeseen and uncertain futures.
Hi, Claudia. Thanks for doing this. Good to talk to you.
Rankine: It’s great to be in conversation with you any day, LeRonn.
Brooks: I was wondering if we could begin this discussion by you reading your poem What If.
Rankine: Sure thing.
What does it mean to want an age-old call for change not to change
And yet, also, to feel bullied by the call to change?
How is a call to change named shame, named penance, named chastisement?
How does one say what if without reproach?
The root of chastise is to make pure.
The impossibility of that—is that what repels and not the call for change?
Brooks: The call for change.
Rankine: I mean, there’s no going back and taking away the history we’ve had. But this idea that it’s also impossible to change from the course that we’re on is sort of what has people up in arms. Literally up in arms.
Brooks: You know, Claudia, the other day, I was talking with someone. And we were talking about how we were raised. My parents were born in Alabama—I’m the first generation in my family to be born outside of legal segregation.
Meaning that for my grandparents to vote and for my parents, a large majority of their lives, for them to vote, they would’ve had to take a test. How many bubbles in a bar of soap? Name all of the senators in the senate and where they’re from. You miss one, you can’t vote.
And what does it mean to be the child of segregated baby boomers? And there’s a bluntness to it. It was a sort of ethos in my house for my parents: I could not rest, I had to get up. In the morning, I had to get up because resting, for them, meant some kind of vulnerability. It meant to them that there’s a danger if this child does not get up. You’re being called to be a witness, you’re being called to bear this responsibility of what it means to come from a tradition or what it means to survive.
And so when I read that poem, it called that thing back, that there is a cost for not witnessing. Or there is a cost for witnessing.
Rankine: I think there’s a lot that you’re saying within the history. Voter suppression, voter repression has always been tied to literacy. That sense that Black people shouldn’t have access to not just their feelings, but their ability to express those feelings, and their ability to express the need for representation, the need for equal representation. So I’m glad you started with that because it’s no accident that there was different questions asked in order to keep the voting population a single color.
And we’ve seen that that kind of voter suppression has gone on and continues to today, in whatever fashion; and that the repression of literacy also is up in the air. I don’t mean literacy in terms of being able to read, but in terms of knowing certain things versus not knowing other things. I mean, the attempt to take books away from the AP exam, for example.
It’s like, “Now you can read; we can’t stop you from reading, but we can stop people from reading what you write.” You know, this country is amazing. It’s an incredible amazement, constant amazement, in its obsession with silencing Black people.
But to get to the question of the vulnerability, for me, What If was an active imaginative leap that I think this moment in time is asking all of us. You know, can we imagine beyond where we’ve been, instead of just circling back? Because it seems like we’re committed to circling back. And in your list of things that artists can do, I think we’re asked to imagine and to feel and to be vulnerable. But I also love that, at least for me, in part of my own practice, that for artists, not knowing can be a generative place, too.
And 2023, for me, is a moment of not knowing. We have all kinds of things happening. We’re in this place where we actually don’t know what the future looks like. We know what it could look like, we know what we would like it to look like; but it might be that we have gotten to the point where we can’t evade the consequences of our actions. As humans, as people. And I don’t mean this just in the United States, but globally. You know, James Baldwin said, “No one can smash the social contract and be exempt from the consequences.” And in a way, I think we have smashed all the contracts.
Brooks: Yeah, yeah.
Rankine: The ones we made with nature, the ones we made with the atmosphere, the ones we made with each other. They have become lost to a different set of commitments: capitalism; individualism. All kinds of things that means we are no longer in adjacency with each other and with the world we’re in. And so we’re falling. That, for me, is like, “What does that look like?”
Right now, I’m really in love with Jennifer Packer’s work. Partly because of that part of the way in which she literally, in her incredible paintings, depicts a kind of falling or fallen.
Brooks: Even nature is confused, because we’ve broken that contract. What will spring look like in October? What will snow look like in June?
And when I think of Jennifer Packer’s work, I think of the ways in which the color is spread, the abstraction. There is a sort of confusion to it; but at the center, there’s this core of beauty that you have to find.
There’s a body in there; there is even a beautiful flower or a plant in there that’s really well done. But around it, you see this weather of technique. And for me, that’s the place of the artist, is to actually— Where is our center? You know, I’m thinking about the Civil Rights Movement and I’m thinking about the way a single photograph of the bus that had been bombed, and the smoke. There’s a way in which that photograph, when published in a newspaper, would recenter the conscious among us that something is wrong, in the way that doesn’t work anymore. There’s a way that the terms for our moral center, when it comes to art, or the power of the photograph, the power of what we consider to be the kinds of work or the kinds of speech that used to give us a sense of how far we have gone from what we know to be right.
About democracy— And then I think, like, climate change. I think that we’ve broken all the contracts. And you know, my question to you is, what is the place of the artist within this?
Rankine: I mean, what is the place of a person within this world right now? It’s hard to believe in the future. And yet there is a future because we’re living. I think there is no single positionality for the artist. I think we’re all doing different things, from where we stand. I know I can speak for myself. I’m interested right now in what does this feel like.
What does it mean to not know? And how do you witness the not knowing and move forward, in a way, without becoming small, without becoming accusative, without resorting to the kind of negativity that we see so many political parties and individuals falling into? Is there way to become a collective in some way again, and move forward.
Rankine: Each of us, as makers in the world, have to find within us the place of our most vulnerable and true introspection. And what it will look like will be different for everyone. What witnessing looks like will be different for everyone. I think collectively, it will be almost as if it’s a tapestry of an entire feeling.
One of the things I love about Tina Campt’s A Black Gaze is she talks about how just reflecting what’s in front of us is not enough. That we’re now in the period of the frequencies of what is happening.
We were talking earlier about Dawoud Bey. And one of the things about his work I love is that viewing his images is not about the image. It’s about the frequency that the image communicates. It moves backwards and forwards in time simultaneously. And what you take away is a feeling, not a representation, not the image in and of itself.
Brooks: The artist David Hammons had a saying that he would walk around the streets, you know, he would walk in the world, and in the studio he would shake it off. He would empty that in his studio. There’s a frequency. You know, “Here I am on Fifth Ave.” Right? There’s a frequency here. You walk the streets, there’s a feeling. Once someone looks one way, three other people look that. Right? What is he or she or they looking at, in this particular moment, that I need the warning?
And I think, you know, when we think about art, you know, and the power of art, there is no real conclusion. When you enter that void into making something, right, there’s an entrance, which may be a frequency; but there is no conclusion, per se. But you have within you or you have been given something to actually make some kind of radical change through exposure. And what you make of that, hopefully, is something that will make this world better or turn us back to the clock that we know. Or maybe not.
You know, I think about, you work across maybe different genres. You’re a playwright, you know, Claudia; you’re a poet; you’re an essayist. You work across these genres. Does one call you more than another when you’re thinking about something? Or do the words emerge differently for each particular one?
Rankine: I think it emerges hand in hand with the project, the genre. I mean, right now I’m writing a piece, and it could’ve been written any way. But I find myself wanting the precision of the lineated line, and suddenly I’m back in poetry again. But it’s because I’m working very slowing. You know, it’s like walking in the dark. And so the place where I feel that I can do that most generatively is poetry.
It’s just a question of which of these genres, which of these modes of writing or making, is in step with whatever it is I’m exploring. And right now, I must say, it’s hard to make a statement. If I could make a statement, maybe I’d write an essay. But it’s hard not to be repeating myself, you know? I mean, there’s nothing more to say about White supremacy that hasn’t been said by everyone. There’s nothing more to be said about climate change that hasn’t been said better by some.
So this other thing, this thing of feeling terrified, actually, about what’s coming and— And I don’t wanna sound naïve. Change is life. I understand that. But it’s hard not to believe that something is catching up with us.
Brooks: What’s interesting is that you’re also a teacher, right? You’re a professor?
Rankine: That’s right.
Brooks: And just on that particular level, so— Last semester, I taught a class around the architect Paul Revere Williams, at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. And one of the decisions I had to make is that in my mind, there is history, and then there’s living history. So grounded in this idea that architecture can serve community. Paul Williams, right? The First AME Church, Second Baptist in L.A.—helping a segregated community form a sense of community through a building, through buildings, right? Which was one part of his practice.
How can they understand that they can also be part of a lineage of thinking about the place they are in the world and using their practice as architects—so architects in training—to think about the world that they are given? To think about their use of their social art, because architecture is in the world, primarily.
What is the responsibility of architects to actually think about the kind of structures that will deal with the environment? But there’s also, if you think about architects as artists, what are the things that painters and poets and writers are building that can help us with this architecture of this moment, right?
What is useful? We have people like W.E.B. Du Bois who said art is propaganda; That he sort of took the soul out of the notion of art and saidit has a social necessity, it has a place in society, to be a form of politics. That’s complicated.
But when you deal with or the structure that you’re talking about, in terms of colonial powers just trying to throw money toward countries that they disempowered, to throw money at them without infrastructure is a form of failure. But it’s also a form of the kinds of systemic issues that affect us all.
And so when I start this conversation, when I started the conversation around the notion of vulnerability, you can’t make art without being vulnerable. And you can’t escape this particular life and this particular moment we’re in without feeling this utter vulnerability. And as a teacher, how do you even raise the question? This is just a very naïve question, Claudia. How do you even approach this issue with students?
Rankine: You know, first of all, I think the importance of culture can never be underestimated. I think one of the reasons we have attacks on makers and writers and artists in our present moment is because culture is so important.
I went to a talk the other day. And Rod Ferguson, who teaches at Yale, was there, and he said, “We have been socialized into cowardice by sort of the bullying of certain politicians and the laws they’re trying to put in place, et cetera.” “Don’t say gay.” Blah-blah-blah. But he said, “It’s a pushback against the successes we’ve had as educators.” And he said, “You know, we really need to fight this socialization of cowardice by developing a socialization of courage.” That we have to begin to stand up for the work that we’ve done.
And Randi Weingarten, who’s the head of the teacher’s union, said that teachers need to teach, and the union will have their back. So, you know, what I tell my students—and most of them are writers—is that the only way for them to get to a place where they’re making what they should be making, writing what they should be writing, is to work from a place of courage. You know? To work from a place where whatever it is they need to say, whatever it is they’re writing, they do it, and they don’t self-edit and they’re not fearful.
You know, it’s funny, ’cause it’s not that they’re fearful of the state; they’re often fearful of family members reading it or parents. But it becomes a kind of editing mode that stays with them. So the question is, how can they believe enough that they’re willing to be vulnerable on the page, willing to say what is true to them? And so that’s where we, at least in my class, we try and get to a place where you even are willing to fail on the page. You know, that is where possibility exists.
Brooks: You know, this is one of the things I learned in, like, Callaloo and Cave Canem is that the power of the personal, the I. Not just the we, but the I. The witnessing of me. Me witnessing the world. It’s scary.
Rankine: Yeah. But you know what, LeRonn, I just remembered, one of the things that Rod Ferguson said was, he said that all of this learning we’ve done up to this point has been a form of midwifery. It has allowed the I to become individual and different and to be in the world as itself. And this is what people are afraid of. They wanna stop that. They want the I to become a kind of cookie cutter thing, rather than be a kind of individuality that all of the writing and the making has brought forward.
Brooks: You know, just thinking my parents being baby boomers, you know, for them, it was pretty much, “You do not want to see what I have seen. You do not want to experience what I have experienced. And so everything that I am telling you to do, like wake up, be present, don’t sleep too long—” It’s inviting me to the doorstep of a history in which I feel the frequency. I feel an urgency. I feel there’s something there; but I don’t have their experience.
And it’s a really brave thing to actually accept what you’re experienced—the bad or the ways in which society has treated you, through no fault of your own. But the power of walking into the I, as the witness; the power of being willing to sort of pay the cost of it.
You know, Claudia, in one of your quotes you said, “I want to provoke dialog, to navigate race and loneliness and what it means to live in the world.” What does it mean to live in the world as a witness in the authority of that particular voice, the painter, the poet, the person who brings this initiated person into their own? Teaching is definitely a part of that. A form of parenting, a form of teaching, a form of providing shelter for the young. And under that shelter, within that shelter, they can begin to understand what they care about and how to engage and invite what they care about into this thing we call art. And I think that’s such a powerful thing, Claudia.
Rankine: I agree with you. And I would go further. You know, one of the things I’ve found in my own classroom is that I bow down to my students, at this point. They are braver than I am. They have done things in this society that it would never have occurred to me to do when I was their age. And when you think about the young woman who was killed in Iran for wearing a loose headscarf, and all the young people who came out in the streets; and when you think about Ukraine and the young people who are fighting— You know, it’s terrible, that war. And yet when you think about being a Ukrainian citizen, and to be able to look back and think, “We didn’t give up.”
You know, there’s a different kind of work being done on the soul level, even at the cost of lives. So I just feel like even as everything else you’re saying is true, we can’t forget about this kind of drive against the suppression of the desire to inhabit the I, the desire to inhabit life, with its freedoms, with all the freedoms that one has been socialized into, even if you don’t fully have access to it in a political realm.
If I had to say where the hope is coming from right now, for me, it is in possibility of the people who are sitting in my classroom. I feel like they know that the gig is up. And because they know that, they’re not distracted as much by the idea that they should just hold tight and things will make a turn. They have seen failure after failure after failure. And in an odd way, they understand that now it’s in their hands.
Brooks: There is a way in which we have broken the social contract of safety for children, for the young. There is an entire generation that, you know— I wasn’t with the nuclear bomb tests. You know, get under the desk, that kind of stuff. But now, young people in school have to do other things. What does it mean that they have active shooters in the schools? Something’s wrong in the social agreement, contract was broken, that there are entities in power that no longer care about the safety of children.
Brooks: What does it mean to grow up in that world? And what does it mean to be subject to the kinds of vulnerability? And to your point, knowing that politicians don’t care. Knowing that they are less protected than the former generation was. And then, you know, Claudia, I grew up going to, like, the library because that was the center of information. And so there was an intimacy with finding or doing research, because I didn’t have the volume of information that our students have.
They look in their phones, and they have a volume of information that I could not fathom in my twenties.
Rankine: Oh, yeah.
Brooks: In my teens. And to find something of meaning within that volume, it takes something that they feel purpose in, I would think. Right?
Rankine: I totally agree. And I think the ability to communicate and to have access to information cannot be understated, in terms of the way in which they have ability to create community now. That’s also, I think, a part of it. And I guess you could say it began with Arab Spring; but we saw with Black Lives Matter, how that has become a global movement, not just an American movement. And you know, so I think the possibilities, in terms of how and what can happen, is yet to be imagined by us on that level, even as the social contracts have been broken, even as a level of fear is skyrocketing beyond— You know, if you really let it all in, you would just like down now. You know?
But then you have this other thing, this human capacity to answer back.
Brooks: I’m thinking of that Jennifer Packer painting or [inaudible]. So amongst the weather, amongst all the different movements, amongst all of the different kinds of things in, let’s say, abstract painting, there is that thing in the center. There’s that doorstep, right? There is that thing you can hold onto. There is that recognizable thing that you feel a kinship to. If it’s a plant, then you have a kinship with the loneliness of that plant. Right? If it’s a color, then you have a kinship with how the color is moved around on the canvas, or its solitary nature, or its participation or nonparticipation within the general field of action, per se, right?
And there’s a way that that acceptance of the I puts you, as a recognizable thing, if only to yourself, within this moment. And so those kids were using TikTok, they were using all modes of communication, because they understood that they, as individual beings within this general environment, could make sense of something, or had a focus. If only to save their own lives.
Rankine: Yeah, exactly. And you know, sometimes people my age will say to me, “You know, I think this woke generation, it’s gone too far.” And I think, “Why are we calling it a woke generation? Why are we calling it an accountability generation?” I mean, suddenly we are being asked to be accountable to our actions and accountable to the ramifications of those actions. And this is outrageous, apparently. You know?
And in fact, it is that lack of accountability that led to the Me Too Movement, that means Black Lives Matter has to continue, that has to do with climate change. And yet even so, you— I hear again and again, from fifty-, sixty-, seventy-year-olds, “What up with this woke thing?” I’m like, “What up with it? What up with it is we were not accountable to all the choices that were being made that put us in this moment.” So there is nothing wrong with being accountable.
Brooks: In some way, they’re saying, “We don’t believe you”’ I’ll just go to the Civil Rights Movement here—you know, Martin Luther King started with a lotta children in those protests. And so this idea of what woke is, is not—
What does it mean to be born in a situation where the systemic poverty, because of we were Black, leads to the kind of economic disparity by which you only have well water in your backyard, even though there’s active plumbing in other neighborhoods? What does it mean that you’re reading secondhand books in your school, even though your parents pay taxes? Your educational reality and your health reality are compromised just because you’re Black, right? And so wokeness is not something, necessarily, that you just enter; you’re born into it, as a matter of survival. And it’s not just this generation, but it’s every generation that has wanted to survive.
Rankine: Yeah. There was an article in the New York Times that pointed out that the richest Black mothers and their babies were twice as likely to die as white mothers and their babies. It had to do with the care she received. So you don’t even have to go to places where access is denied. You know, access is being denied in places because the people who are supposed to give good care are refusing it unconsciously. I mean, this is how deep this shit is.
Brooks: You know, I have the other half to this quote by you, Claudia, and I think it reads well here. “What happens when I stand close to you? What’s your body going to do? What’s my body going to do?” And so there are decisions being made between two people. And it’s interesting, your poem, or this statement, brings me to the doorstep of this question—and that’s the power of art—brings me to the doorstep of this question about the relationship between a nurse and his or her or their patient and survival. What happens when I’m close to you and you’re close to me?
Brooks: My upbringing and my social construct tells me that I should not trust you. But the other person’s social construct means that I need to have this baby in a hospital that’s near to me, that supposedly has good care.
Rankine: Yeah. That I think I’m paying for. But money is not gonna help, when racism is standing in the way. I mean, you know, again, I go back to Tina Campt’s idea of dialog of adjacency. We’re seeing it between people; we’re seeing it between genders; we’re seeing it between religions; we’re seeing it between countries. This thing of, if you come close, I need to kill you. I really do. And it’s not a generative solution, in the long run.
Brooks: And so books, poems, paintings—I mean, they bring us to the doorstep of whatever conclusion we’re willing to make, right? But that conclusion depends on our socialization. That conclusion depends upon, you know, where we come from, the kinds of upbringings that we have. And so, you know, whenever I go to a museum and, you know, I walk around, and I think about what each work is bringing me to the doorstep of. I think about what should I learn from this, from my own experience, right? What am I witnessing here? And often, there is no conclusion. But there is a frequency, there is a feeling.
It could be the intimacy of a James Van Der Zee photograph or it could be, you know, like a huge Julie Mehretu painting. There’s something about art, visual art, poetry, that gives a sense of scale. Like your poem What If, there’s a sense of scale in there.
There’s a sense of the pan now, you’re talking about society, and then the what if is within the individual, too. What are the consequences? Why is one chastised for witnessing? And so, you know, going back to being a teacher, how does one even inform one’s students of the consequences? How am I not my segregated parents, and warning students without giving them my own experience? You know, for me, growing up in New York in the nineties, as a young Black man, right?
And so how can I bring them to the doorstep of what is their artistic contribution and at the same time, have them look presently in their lives to find the thing that will bring people to the doorstep of the art they make?
Rankine: It’s funny, because I do think one of the ways in which I’ve understood my role as a professor is that it’s my job to bring to my students as much as they can take in. You know, as much as I have access to, I have to then bring it to them. And then you will do with it what you will.
I just was reading a book where they said that I showed a video of people dying, Black people dying, and traumatized them. And it is true that me showing the videos of the killing of Black people is not something that Black people should have to sit through. But at the time, I read a letter to me saying, “Please don’t show these,” after I showed it, to say, “This is another way of thinking about this.” Maybe showing this is not the right thing.
But the person writing about it said, “No, she read the letter saying, ‘Don’t show this,’ to say it doesn’t matter.” I’m like, “No. I read it to say this is another way of thinking about it.” And that has always been my, like, adjacency. What happens when you put this thing up against this thing. Does this letter negate this? Maybe it does. Maybe it does. And so in the classroom, I try to bring as many points of view in around any moment in time, even if the moment has to do with the color red or it has to do with the question of a frequency, a sound.
You know, I’m a mom. I know you cannot force knowing on anybody. But you can put before a person, possibilities of interpretive actions. And then from there, they will make and do with that what they will. And you just have to trust that somewhere in there, they saw the human being, they saw life, and they’re committed to the maintenance of that life, you know?
Rankine: But that’s it. That there’s no more that you can do than that.
Brooks: You’re helping students sort of configure in their own minds, what are the lengths of what I should consider to be something that I can learn from? Right? And so from death to life and to all of these things, you’re saying, “These are the fragments by which you can pull some meaning; but you’re going to have to be interpreter of that meaning.” I’m saying you’re allowed. I’m giving you permission, right, to engage all of this breadth of things that I’ve considered useful in my life. And I’m putting them before you because I hope these tools will be useful to you, too.
Rankine: And I have to trust you. I have to trust you. I mean, in some ways, you can say the Republicans are trying very hard to stop the putting in front of you of all that information, because they want a single narrative that goes in a single direction. And they do not wish to have anything complicate that narrative. And we see to what end that brings us.
Brooks: There’s almost like a genetic trauma that’s embedded in many Black families who have witnessed something. And for me, it was like, “Oh. Are we going back to this moment of segregation, legal segregation? Are we going back?”
Because you don’t have to do too much in that vein to really make people understand, people whose parents have experienced that, the utter consequences of that, that there’s something within the lineage of people who’ve been exposed to that, that their children will then sort of understand the wind that’s changing, but maybe not the depth of the cost that was paid by them.
And so for me, the radical thing about teaching, the radical thing about art making is to sort of feel that wind and create something from it. Because you’re searching for something. You’re searching for some kind of remembering; but also there’s a statement of, “This is where I am and this is where I can lead you to. But I don’t have an answer right now.”
Rankine: You know, I was thinking about somebody like Sonia Sanchez. What they had to do to get Black studies into the curriculum in the first place. You know, when she first started teaching, she wasn’t even paid. She did it for free. And so many students arrived at the classroom that it was only after she had taught that she was allowed to be paid, you know, the next time around. But people sacrificed to get us to this place, so it must just be a soul punch to hear somebody—
And then we hear about things like Jackson, Mississippi is trying to install a militarized police force in the Black neighborhoods. This is apartheid—two separate police forces in Jackson, Mississippi: one for the white neighborhoods, and a militarized police force for the Black neighborhoods. So are we going back? Inasmuch as it is possible, yes. Yes.
Brooks: For as much as it is possible.
Rankine: Yeah. And then the question is, what can we make impossible?
Brooks: I think that’s a great place to stop. Thank you, Claudia. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Rankine: Thank you, LeRonn. Anytime.
Brooks: This episode was produced by Zoe Goldman, with audio production by Gideon Brower and mixing by Myke Dodge Weiskopf.
Our theme music comes from “The Dharma at Big Sur” composed by John Adams, for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in 2003 and is licensed with permission from Hendon Music.
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Thanks for listening.
LeRonn Brooks: Hello, I’m LeRonn Brooks, Associate Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections at the Getty Research Institute. Welcome to Art + Ideas. I’m your host for a three-episode series about poetry and visual art.
Claudia Rankine: What I tell my students—and most of them...
“The Dharma at Big Sur – Sri Moonshine and A New Day.” Music written by John Adams and licensed with permission from Hendon Music. (P) 2006 Nonesuch Records, Inc., Produced Under License From Nonesuch Records, Inc. ISRC: USNO10600825 & USNO10600824