KC Together: New Experience for Our City, Our Stories Exhibit Gallery

Carole Cadue-Blackwood

Kevin Strickland

The Kansas City Museum is working once again with artist and filmmaker Randy Bacon and his movement platform 8 Billion Ones to create KC Together, a new series of still portraits, film conversations, and motion portraits about Kansas Citians for the Museum’s Our City, Our Stories exhibit gallery on the third floor of Corinthian Hall.

In 2020, Randy created still portraits and written stories for the Our City, Our Stories exhibit gallery for the reopening of Corinthian Hall in October 2021. Those portraits and stories are still on view, and KC Together is a new component that adds films.

KC Together tells the personal stories of nine Kansas Citians. On one large format flat screen monitor, museum visitors experience “motion portraits” created by Randy to capture individuals being themselves in a natural, honest, and sometimes vulnerable way. Randy asks each person to sit or stand in front of the camera for three-to-four minutes without talking and with no breaks. In this way, the films become an act of close observation, giving personal, intimate views of each person honestly and vulnerably just being themselves.

Representative Emily Weber

Motion portraits draw attention to each person’s outward physicality, such as breaths, eye movements, small adjustments, expressions, and other body changes. Giving a rare glimpse into emotions and thoughts, the films create a powerful awareness and connection of our shared humanity.

Inside the Our City, Our Stories exhibit gallery, visitors experience “conversation films” on two flat screen monitors that feature personal stories about identity, heritage, and community to foster awareness, learning, and understanding. At times, the stories convey how individuals have chosen to move forward with courage and resilience to restore hope, truth, and trust when they have endured harm and injury caused by discrimination, generational trauma, and other abusive and exclusionary practices. The stories demonstrate the complexity of our individual but interconnected histories and their lasting impact.

As a city museum, the Kansas City Museum tells the stories of Kansas City and its people including their history, present, and future. KC Together provides a meaningful and engaging way to tell these stories. Over time, the museum will add more stories, and in addition, the museum is working on developing listening stations for the Our City, Our Stories exhibit gallery where visitors will experience oral histories, music, and poetry.

–Anna Marie Tutera, photography by Randy Bacon

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