Posts Tagged ‘exhibition’
Following the election one of the strongest calls was for artists to continue to work, to continue to create in the face of results that are heartbreaking at best, and portending catastrophic consequences for our society and planet at worst. To create art, no matter what the style or idiom, is to reach out and try to communicate to another, to seek some common understanding. Demagogues have no use for understanding, for finding common ground; there is always a distinction between the artist and the work of art and then between that artwork and the viewer, and those gaps between art and life must be traversed for any communication to occur. That the viewer must reach out to an artwork makes it a poor choice as a vehicle for propaganda, but well suited as a means to transmit personal expression.
When I walked into my studio after the election I felt that I could not continue with business as usual. As much as my regular practice may have called for adjusting a red to a blue in one of my paintings, my rage, frustration and grief did not allow for that. So instead I took up small, unfinished collages that incorporated napkin fragments printed with the United States flag. Almost flat-footedly obvious at the beginning, as I have finished the first works in the Electioneering series my studio practice has gained some inoculation from current events and found myself able to work again, and as I am working I’m now looking forward towards letting these small works communicate and yell.
I know that I am not alone in this experience. Artists I know have been in the studio working, while also organizing, protesting, and speaking out. Many of us will March following the inauguration, but there will be those of us who cannot, and perhaps we can find a way to make the art we’ve made in the days and weeks after speak for us.
I would like to see the art you have made starting on November 10th and onward. I would like to see an exhibition (or perhaps several) open at the time of the inauguration that puts art and reactions on the walls as we are also putting bodies and ideas into the streets. Consider this an open call for work, for space, for anyone who has tried to process their situation by turning to the process in their studios. Send images or ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. I do not know what will come of this, but it seems important to reach out.