Derrick Woods-Morrow, Much handled things are always soft, 2019

Much handled things are always soft unearths the unwritten and undocumented histories of public sex culture in the south-side of Chicago. Through conversation with longterm survivor Patric McCoy, the film traces the height of activity in the 1970s, the downfall of cruising culture in the 1980s, and the prevailing summer heat, which continues to linger. Together, McCoy and Woods-Morrow reflect on their relationship to cruising, to photography, and to each other; attempting to bridge the gap between what was, and what still remains to be explored.

Commissioned in 2019 as part of STILL BEGINNING, a program of seven short videos responding to the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic.

About the artist
Derrick Woods-Morrow’s work is a meditation on deviation and disruption. Currently based in Chicago, his artistic practice deploys a wide variety of media, including photographic transfers, digital video collage, ceramics, and narrative performance. Exploring modes of representation, he salvages, displaces, and removes raw material from sites of historical significance and trauma, reimagines their future purpose and denies their perceived function, while actively interrogating the correlation between labor and play. A recipient of the 2018 Artadia Award, Derrick received his MFA in Photography from the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 2016, and was most recently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Photography and Teaching Artist at the University of Illinois Chicago. His work appeared in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, in collaboration with Paul Mpagi Sepuya and his recent works were shown at YNCI V: Detroit Art Week Expo, in a solo exhibition curated by Darryl Terrell.

︎ Resource Guide

︎ Watch a conversation with Derrick Woods-Morrow and Iman Shervington

︎ Listen to a conversation with Derrick Woods-Morrow, Patric McCoy, and Carl George
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