“Through My Lens: Justin Cooper”
“Through My Lens: Justin Cooper” chronicles the artist’s wanderings and engagements with various accessible and inaccessible sites in Chicago’s neighborhoods and beaches. In a wheelchair, Cooper uses photography as an evidence tool to address access issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. This street exhibition draws attention to how disability is defined by the societal, environmental, social and physical barriers that limit the leisure and quality of life of people with reduced mobility. Together with the exhibition venue, the windows of Gallery 400 on Van Buren, Cooper’s images inspire viewers to consider their lived experiences in navigating a world that values normality and physical ability. “Through my lens » is presented together with Crip*.
Justin Cooper is a black visual artist and disability advocate who has worked professionally in art and film since 2012. The lack of media representation among people with disabilities motivated him to work on his own documentary film titled “The Wheelchair Chronicles.” Cooper is the President of the Young Professionals Council of Access Living, Chief Marshal of the annual Chicago Disability Pride Parade, and does advocacy work for Advance Your Leadership Power (racial/social justice advocacy group at Access Living) and the Chicago Disability Activism Collective. Cooper is a 2020-21 Junior Artist-in-Residence with the Disability Culture Activism Lab in collaboration with Access Living and was a 2021 3Arts/Bodies of Work Residency Fellow.