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Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
Invisible Man (after Ralph Ellison)

2012

$15,000

About

This work takes its title from the novel by Ralph Ellison. Published in 1952, the book addresses social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century. The work was made in response to a KOS member who was murdered at age 14. The “IM” is pulled from a headline on the story that stated “MURDER VICTIM.” Rollins and KOS appropriated the IM of the headline in order the link this tragedy and the notion of being a victim with Ellison’s novel. Tim Rollins, a renowned educator, was an active member in the South Bronx education community since teaching at a public middle school in the early 1980s. In 1984, Rollins launched the Art and Knowledge Workshop in the South Bronx with a group of at-risk students who called themselves K.O.S. (Kids of Survival). Many of the original K.O.S. members are still actively involved in the collaboration today. Modeled on their pedagogy of responding to literary texts through art making, the collective has since gone on to hold workshops in classrooms nationwide and internationally, including Northern Ireland, Edinburgh, London, Milan, Bergamo, Montreal, and Basel.

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