Kyle Goen, New Flag of Iraq (Interim), repurposed American flag and screen printing ink (unique)
51" x 85.5", 2010
Acts of Sedition is a multi–media exhibition of international artists that indirectly takes its cue from two previous WhiteBox shows that addressed different facets of the U.S. elections. Sedition (2008) paralleled the general election leading to President Obama’s first term, while #makamericagreatagain (2016) was prescient in focusing on the primaries and subsequent emergence of Donald J. Trump who is now the 2016 Republican Presidential nominee. Whereas Sedition took the pulse of the national political climate,#makeamericagreatagain was more partisan as well as incorporating social media as a curatorial strategy.Acts of Sedition is like a third party, for it takes the aforementioned exhibitions as a point of departure but extends their thematic concerns to the contemporary world–at-large yet linking international geo-political strife to the U.S. political landscape and forthcoming Presidential elections. Artworks to be exhibited that underscore this, for example, include Carlos Aires’ collaged dollar bills.These works consist of currency that have been superimposed with imagery of Iraqi war dead in coffins draped in American flags as well as homeless individuals.
On one level the work may be construed as questioning U.S. war policies and economic disparity, however because money is traded in transnational financial markets whose value can fluctuate according to global events, Aires’ work reveals the symbiosis of local, national and international politics. Another work that highlight’s an aspect of the exhibition’s foci is Dread Scott’s A Black Man Was Hung By Police Yesterday (2015). Taking the form of a flag, Scott’s sculpture is meant to be displayed in public and is based on a similar banner hung outside the offices of the N.A.A.C.P in Manhattan from 1920-38 to draw attention to lynching of African-Americans in the Jim Crow South. In the same manner that N.A.A.C.P. attempted to alert the public of the racial violence being inflicted on our fellow Americans, Scott’s updated version was to make people aware of the institutional violence inflicted on the African-American community by certain members of the police. The work forces us to think of how the horrors of the past are still with us today but under different guises producing the same atrocious results: unabated racial violence that is seemingly institutionalized.
Acts of Sedition argues that although sedition in colloquial nomenclature refers to subversive acts by individuals towards institutions of power, what has now manifested are acts of treason by those same entities against a myriad of communities and even the sacrosanct ideals that has made the U.S. a beacon and haven for tolerance, inclusivity, freedom and democracy. Violence against the African-American community, xenophobia, attempts to repeal Roe vs Wade, sexual orientation and transgender discrimination, the dominance of Superpacs in our political infrastructure that buy politicians and elections are just a few of the many acts of sedition by antidemocratic and authoritarian forces that this exhibition pushes against.
Fish Story, curated by Raul Zamudio, is an exhibition of international artists who work in painting, work-on-paper, sculpture, photography, video, and installation. The exhibition’s title is culled from Allan Sekula’s 1995 eponymous multimedia artwork. Sekula’s project explored the machinations of globalization through the geopolitics of trade at the nexus of the international shipping industry. Fish Story revisits Sekula’s iconic corpus within different contexts twenty-one years later. As part of Contempo 2016: International Contemporary Art Festival in which art exhibitions will be presented in the city of Varna and in shipping containers on the shores of the Black Sea, Fish Story will be thematically opportune.
Artists: Jaishri Abichandani (USA/India), Luis Alonzo-Barkigia (USA/Mexico), Oreet Ashery (UK), Claire Fontaine (France), Martin Durazo (USA), Andrea Frank (USA/Germany), Kendell Geers (South Africa), Lazaro Juan (USA/Philippines), Despo Magoni (USA/Greece), Ferran Martin (USA/Spain), Emma McCagg (USA), Riiko Sakkinen (Spain/Finland), Romulo Sans (USA/Spain), Joaquin Segura (Mexico), Edgar Serrano (USA), S & P Stanikas (France/Lithunia), Sari Tervaniemi (Finland), Mehran Tizkar (Germany/Iran), Wojtek Ulrich (USA/Poland),Ruben Verdu (Spain/Venezuela), Adolfo Doring (USA/Mexico).
The Enemy Within is a metaphor that has been used in various
contexts. A quick Google search will reveal a broad array of its application including
a Star Trek segment in which Capt. Kirk is teleported through a transporter. Upon
materialization he is split into two persons: one good and one evil. The exhibition’s title also encompasses a book
by a political conservative, a fictional film about treason and murder in the American
government, and a documentary about “homegrown” terrorism in the U.S. What all
of these adaptations of The Enemy Within share is a narrative of internal
crisis of moral proportions.
The Enemy Within is a group exhibition of international artists who
work in diverse media including painting, work-on-paper, sculpture,
photography, video, and installation. The artworks presented dovetail, akin to
Kirk’s crisis of conscience, on internal and external contradictions in both
subject matter and form. Some artists, like Kendell Geers for example, uses
footage from the World Trade Center attacks and juxtaposes it with Rene
Magritte’s famous Treason of Images (1928-29)
painting consisting of a tobacco pipe with text underneath it that states, Ceci
n’est pas une pipe [This is not a pipe]. The
Enemy Within explores the paradoxical and contradictory nature of events,
history, politics and the social world-at-large to reveal how they are internally
and externally conflicted.
The Enemy Within" curada por Raul Zamudio es una exposición colectiva de artistas internacionales que trabajan en diversos medios, incluyendo la pintura, obra sobre papel, escultura, fotografía, vídeo e instalación. Las obras seleccionadas son una representacion interna y externa de contradicciones tanto en la materia y la forma. Algunos artistas, como Kendell Geers por ejemplo, utiliza imágenes de los ataques al World Trade Center y yuxtapone sobre la imagen la famosa traición de Rene Magritte, pintura que consiste en una pipa de tabaco con el texto debajo de ella que dice: Ceci n'est pas une pipe [Esto no es una pipa].
Joaquin Segura, The Battle of Hamburger Hill, McDonald's cheeseburgers and wrappers, toy U.S. flag, dimensions variable, 2008
#makeamericagreatagain is a group exhibition of diverse
media that will run during February and coincide with the initial Democratic
and Republican primaries.The
exhibition’s title is culled verbatim from Donald Trump’s campaign slogan. Appropriation
does not stop there, however, for #makeamericagreatagain thematically rubs up
against demagoguery prevalent in the current American social and political
landscape and rhetoric espoused by primary candidates to engender fear in the
The appropriated hashtag also serves as curatorial device to
further expand the exhibition into social media. The exhibition-viewing public
and those not physically present to see the show, will be asked to upload
images or texts with the hashtag of #makamericagreatgain onto Twitter,
Instagram or Facebook. These contributions will become part of the exhibition
and will be interventions into existing social media sites with the same hashtag.
On February 1, Iowa-based artists under the cloak of journalism, will infiltrate the Iowa Republican Caucus and record the event live and transmit in real time via large projector and sound system into WhiteBox.
Shape-Shifters explores the protean
nature of identity in numerous contexts as well as the way some artworks are
formally unstable in being hybrids of painting and sculpture or photography and
performance, for example. The exhibition explores this via a diverse group of
fourteen artists that work in various media including painting, work-on-paper,
photography, sculpture, video, installation, sound art, and performance.
Apart from the
individual works that uniquely address the exhibition thematic, its curatorial
structure shape- shifts too, for it initially entails the presentation of seven
foreign artists and one Bulgarian artist. The first Bulgarian artist will
then select another Bulgarian artist to replace a foreign artist. The
substitution of a foreign artist with Bulgarian artist will occur in increments
throughout the exhibition’s duration, so every other day there will be a new
group of artworks.
The exhibition will end with the inverse of how it began;
that is, with a completely new presentation of artists consisting of seven
Bulgarian artists and one foreign artist. This component of Shape-Shifters ontologically expands curatorship, the role of the artist, and the exhibition
As such, Shape-Shifters will
be inherently paradoxical; at what point can the exhibition be complete: when
it opens, during its presentation, or when it reaches its termination date?
A catalog will be
published to accompany the exhibition with reproductions of exhibited artworks,
bios of the artists and artists’ statements, installation shots recording the
exhibition’s transformation and an essay by the curator.