Saturday, September 30, 2006

White Box presents (212)-911
@ Art (212) Contemporary Art Fair
November 270October 1, 2006
Curated by Raul Zamudio and Juan Puntes
Artists: Dennis Adams, A.E.S.& F., Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Robert Boyd, Conrad Atkinson, Christoph Draeger, El Perro, Rainer Ganahl, Kyle Goen, Maximo Gonzalez, Patrick Hamilton, ALfredo Jaar, Alexei Kalliman, Larry Litt, Marcos Lopez, Mary Mattingly, Muntadas, Dread Scott, Seric Choba, S & P Stanikas, Javier Tellez, Zhou Xiaohu
(212)-911 is a group exhibition camouflaged as an installation. It uses, as curatorial foil, Manhattan’s area code referenced in New York’s most recent art fair contender that is organized under the rubric of Art (212). While art fairs proliferate and we enjoy their offerings such as a still-life painting, a sepia-tone landscape photograph, or a meticulously rendered sculptural portrait, the myriad of social and political crises both in the U.S. and abroad continue unabated and demand the utmost immediate attention from the world at large. This state of emergency has motivated White Box’s contribution to Art (212) as an urban S.O.S.: 911. The works in (212)-911 convey this immediacy in a plethora of formal and thematic ways and have been selected from White Box’s history and its pivotal role as a progressive and critical art institution in the New York art world. The survey of works in (212)-911 does not attempt to be comprehensive of White Box exhibitions. Rather, it is a selection of particular poignant and compelling exhibitions and projects that addressed the current political and social landscape with an unabashed courage and critical sensibility that has been quintessentially White Box. The works in (212)-911 are culled from such iconic White Box shows including The Blame Show: Dissent + Freedom; Democracy Was Fun; Six Feet Under: Make Nice; Alex Kalima: Dead Calm, Chechnya; and Another Expo: Beyond the Nation State. The urgency in which these exhibitions were able to respond to contemporary political and social issues has been a distinguishing factor in White Box’s programming from its inception and that has differentiated it from other exhibition spaces whether they be commercial or non-profit. To paraphrase Andre Bretons’s metaphor of Frida Kahlo’s painting, (212)-911 is a “bomb with ribbon tied around it”—Raul Zamudio

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