Glenn Ligon, Artist
Notes on the Margin of the "Black Book"
In Notes on the Margin of the "Black Book," Glenn Ligon, like some other artists featured in Take It or Leave It, has taken as his subject matter the work of another artist. Seventy-eight distinct comments from a variety of political and cultural voices are presented here alongside ninety-one reproductions of Robert Mapplethorpe's controversial photographs of nude black men. By highlighting the heterogeneity of and discord between the many remarks, Ligon restages a debate that arose during the height of the culture wars of the 1980s and foregrounds the emotional, political, and unconscious aspects rarely acknowledged as driving them.