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Image by Maria Thereza Alves, Marçal Tupã Y (Tupã-Y Guaraní, Marçal de Souza: assassinated for his struggle in land demarcation in 1983), 1980. Courtesy of the artist.

Against Again: Art Under Attack in Brazil

February 14, 2020 – April 3, 2020

Opening reception: February 14th, 2020 5:30pm

Sonia Andrade, Maria Thereza Alves, Marcelo Amorim, Giselle Beiguelman, Rafael BQueer, Nino Cais, #CóleraAlegria, Jonathas de Andrade, Anna Bella Geiger, Hudinilson Jr., Clara Ianni, Eduardo Kac, Randolpho Lamonier, Jaime Lauriano, Antonio Manuel, Arjan Martins, Virginia de Medeiros, Cildo Meireles, Ismael Monticelli, Rafael Pagatini, Anna Parisi, Regina Parra, Moisés Patrício, Dalton Paula, Aretha Sadick e João Simões, Berna Reale, Sallisa Rosa, Aleta Valente, Regina Vater, Igor Vidor

 

Curated by Tatiane Schilaro and Nathalia Lavigne, and organized by AnnexB-NY.

 

The exhibition Against, Again: Art Under Attack in Brazil addresses the present transnational wave of authoritarianism by featuring a number of art practices that have responded to oppression in Brazil. Since the rise of a conservative political movement in the last few years that resulted in the election of a far-right president in 2018, threats and attacks against politicians, activists, intellectuals and artists have skyrocketed. Violence has been exacerbated against social groups traditionally repressed. And acts of censorship supported by the state have returned: a cultural war has been waged against groups and institutions that do not adhere to conservative social ideas. Under a supposedly democratic government, a dangerously nostalgic desire for the return of a military dictatorship has taken place among different segments of society, fueling political actions that have made direct reference to the period of 1964-84, the last authoritarian regime.

 

The exhibition Against, Again: Art Under Attack in Brazil develops a brief diagnosis of these somber times; it also surveys historical conditions of authoritarianism in Brazil and shows how artists have thrived and created new imaginaries to endure oppression. The exhibition travels back and forth in time, linking different generations of artists and exploring connections between systems of power as old as colonialism and current neo-fascist discourses. Topics of censorship, hate speech, and systemic erasures are addressed by artworks that can be looked at through four intersecting topics: “Exposing Oppressions,” “Dismantling Silencing,” “Defiant Subjectivities,” and “Media Insertions and Agency.”

 

In “Exposing Oppressions” artworks either seek to disable or reveal national hegemonic narratives, such as Brazil’s myth of racial democracy or the militarization of everyday life. Both topics are examples of discourses that have been seminal to sustain present-day authoritarianisms. Jonathas de Andrade comments on a 1950s’ UNESCO study that celebrated Brazil’s racial miscegenation and targeted international audiences, while also disseminating racial stereotypes. Igor Vidor acknowledges the complexity of the globalized gun market that has driven police and non-police violence in Brazil’s favelas. In “Dismantling Silencing” and “Defiant Subjectivities” repressed or censored groups and discourses take central stage, directly speaking to and defying power. Links are established between generations of artists who have fought either censorship or silencing in Brazil. Sonia Andrade presents A Caça, a work that was censored in 1978 for linking the violence of the dictatorship to Christian indoctrination, a theme that was also explored by Anna Bella Geiger in O Pão Nosso de Cada Dia (1978). The exhibition includes works by Maria Thereza Alves, who lived in New York in the 1980s and, as an activist, denounced the ethnocide of native peoples during Brazil’s military dictatorship. 

 

Artworks labeled “Media Insertions and Agency” acknowledge the ideological wars waged through communications systems. During the last dictatorship in the 1970s, Brazilian conceptual artists such as Cildo Meireles and Antonio Manuel created works known as media insertions to challenge state propaganda. Today, artists continue to use the most varied strategies to take agency within social media, transposing street protests to the virtual world. While the collaborative action project #CóleraAlegria creates posters, flags, and banners to be used during political demonstrations and shared as images on Instagram, artists such as Giselle Beiguelman and Aleta Valente deal with dangerous right-wing hate speeches that became popular on these networks. 

 

As part of a global context, the exhibition Against, Again: Art under Attack in Brazil examines the return of political authoritarianism in Brazil, its well-known persistent strategies, and a transformed mode of cultural war that refashions public institutions to reflect conservative points of view and uses public money cuts against progressive artistic projects. In the face of adversity and silencing, artists featured in Against, Again: Art Under Attack in Brazil continue to believe in the emancipatory power of art and its ability to create alternative worlds.  

 

Again, Against: Art Under Attack in Brazil  is an initiative with the advisory of Claudia Calirman, Carlos Motta, and Cyriaco Lopes. 

 

The exhibition is made possible with generous support from patrons Banco de Dados A Arte do Carnaval/ Alayde Alves and Rothier Faria Collection, and partners from the following galleries and collections: A Gentil Carioca (Rio de Janeiro), Alexander and Bonin (New York), Collection of David Kirkpatrick (New York), Estrellita B. Brodksy Collection (New York), Fridman Gallery (New York), Galeria Estação (São Paulo), Galeria Jaqueline Martins (São Paulo), Galeria Luciana Caravello (Rio de Janeiro), Galeria Millan (São Paulo), Galeria Nara Roesler (São Paulo, New York), Galeria Vermelho (São Paulo), Henrique Faria (New York), Marval Collection (Italy), Natalie and José Salazar (São Paulo), Periscópio (Belo Horizonte).

Image by Maria Thereza Alves, Marçal Tupã Y (Tupã-Y Guaraní, Marçal de Souza: assassinated for his struggle in land demarcation in 1983), 1980. Courtesy of the artist.
Photo still from Ambos film Grapple

CITIZEN

Curated by Yulia Tikhonova ‎

November 20th, 2019 – January 1st, 2020

Opening Reception: November. 20, 2019 5:30 – 8:00 PM

Location: Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College,  860 11th Avenue, New York, NY

Who is a citizen? Who is granted citizenship and who is denied it? Just how inalienable are the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as they are apportioned in contemporary America? These are the questions that are confronted head-on by the exhibition Citizen?  Inspired by Claudia Rankine’s book, Citizen: An American Lyric, this exhibit explores the contemporary landscape of citizenship granted or withheld. It is the product of a group of “citizen-artists” who are heirs to a long tradition of artists speaking truth to power. They have accepted the challenge to understand the many meanings and interpretations of the word citizen.

Participating artists include: Gina Adams, Tanya Aguiñiga, Courtney Bowles,  Maria Gaspar, Vanessa German, Karen Finley, Stephanie Hightower, Karlito Miller-Espinosa, Sherrill Roland, Paul Rucker, Mark Strandquist, Stephanie Syjuco, Hank Willis Thomas.

Sherrill Roland Video: https://youtu.be/4zusjtipGZo

Click below links for artist websites:

https://www.ginaadamsartist.com

http://www.tanyaaguiniga.com/

https://karenfinley.com/

https://mariagaspar.com/

https://stephaniehightower.com/

https://www.karlitomillerespinosa.com/

https://www.sherrillroland.com/

http://archive.paulrucker.com/

http://kanezaschaal.com/

http://peoplespaperco-op.weebly.com/

https://www.stephaniesyjuco.com/

https://hankwillisthomas.com/

 

 

Painting of Fruit by Mia Brownell

Foodie Fever

Curated by Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos and D. Dominick Lombardi
Sept. 24, 2019 – Nov.1,2019

Opening Reception Sept. 24, 2019; 5:30–8:00 PM

Foodie Fever and its artworks address the variety of issues germane to the food craze phenomenon seen in the millennial generation’s sharing of foodie photographs on social media. Having the greatest buying power millennial foodies search for the rarest, most authentic, custom-made, unusual cuisines sometimes laced with Cannabidiol (CBD) which has become another trend. Millennial foodies seek trendy diets most popular of which are the low-carb or gluten-free eschewing inhumane farming methods while seeking alternatives. This sector also appreciates individuality, and mash-ups, fusions or foods created especially for their tastes like poke bowls and other exotic tastes. Regardless of what they choose Millennials are mindful of their food-sources and careful with their health, although sometimes misguided as with some of the trendy dieting methods.

David C. Terry’s McTriptych addresses issues of wealth and access to a healthful diet, and how that is in fact, a large part of racism and oppression in general. There are the moments when foodies become mesmerized by the omnipresence of fast food in realtime. A mock-monument to this generational problem is Robert Zott’s Fast Food featuring family plot grave stones with the titles Burger, Fries and Soda. Chris Bors’ Hot Dogs goes right for that carnival aspect of food fanaticism and best example of how extreme behavior is more popular than ever, especially among the Millennials who like to theme-party.Judy Haberl takes aim at the ‘links’ between semi-precious stones and jewelry, and the standard meat sausage. In an age when the mixing of metaphors can be taken to the limit in a variety of ways, Haberl clarifies our vision and understanding that food is a commodity. Todd Bartel’s Designer Agriculture No. 1 (Dr. Frankentree) and Kirsten Stolle’s Feed bring in the darker side of foods that are genetically designed and modified for purposes well beyond the scope of nature. Junghoo Hwang’s photographs speak to the same issue for such hybrids as he depicts, can only exist if genetically designed and engineered. Sungho Choi’s light box installation Menu is about a different type of food hybrid; one that is an ethnic mix of Asian and Western cuisines. Korean kimchi is combined with various foods from around the world to produce fusion foods as well as to address issues of cultural hybridity. Intae Kim’s sculpture of a cabbage represents the most popular Korean food, but the way he has shaped it like a comfortable easy chair, we must read it as a comfort inducing food more than an ethnic symbol. Maria Karametou’s weirdly shaped potatoes and eggplants address the idea of man-made perfection. By so doing, Karametou comments on the artificial perfection that society has learned to find appealing rather than looking deeper or seeking out ugly yet healthful alternatives. Nicholas Moore’s Lunch Boxes series focuses on those rare foods and trends that Foodies seek in their search for individuality from food bowls, to curcumin lattes to sushi bowls, and gourmet donuts to smoothies and cauliflower rice. Mia Brownell’s two paintings Passing Fruit and Pear and Grape offer a delicate dance of growth and fruition as each tangled trellis of grapes cluster and support displaced pears and plums. Beth Mobilia offers a new take on naughtiness by obscuring the most flavorful part of an iconic dessert. The point here is not only to address the shortcomings of sugar, but to bring to light the awkwardness many feel when indulging in a high calorie, albeit tasty treat. Marianne Strapatsakis’s video The Beautiful Fish, 2019 is concerned with showing the delectable nature of today’s foodie fever. Gastronomic tourism has been on the rise as social experience seen in consumer themed experiences and developing communities around food. Thalia Gatzouli produces works with light as if writing in space that concern biological issues. In fact, her work Protein Provocative, 2019 is comprised of textual statements in neon light. Her interest lies in the connections between science and food and she examines the dual sided effects of protein that can both nourish and sicken. The photographer Chronis Spanos addresses formal and ideological issues such as light and texture within the theme of food. His approach to his subject is architectural in that, he essentializes form abstracting it to its simplest shape using light and shade.

Image: Still Life with Passion Fruit, Mia Brownell, 2008, oil on canvas

Image courtesy of Mia Brownell

Baneful Medicine

On view: May 1, 2019 – June 21, 2019

Opening Reception: May 1, 2019, 5:30 – 8:00 PM

Curated by Andrew Weinstein

At Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp, it was a doctor, Josef Mengele, who decided who would live and die. On the camp receiving ramp, Mengele’s daily “selection” placed Darwin’s idea of “natural selection” in human hands; eugenics, a field pioneered by Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, inspired the Nazi dream of engineering a master race. What we now call the Holocaust was, in a sense, a medical “operation.”

How could doctors betray the Hippocratic Oath they had pledged, to “do no harm” — not only in Nazi Germany but also in places like Tuskegee, Alabama? There, starting in 1932, a year before the Nazis came to power, American doctors enticed impoverished African American men to participate in a decades-long study in exchange for free healthcare, even as they withheld treatment for those who had syphilis and didn’t know it because the researchers wanted to chronicle the natural history of the disease. This followed a long history of medical abuses against African Americans, such as gynecological studies on enslaved women by J. Marion Sims.

In 1947, American jurists held Nazi doctors to account at the Nuremberg Doctors Trial and established modern bioethics with the mandate of “informed consent” for human research subjects; nevertheless, the Tuskegee syphilis study continued for decades after, alongside other examples of criminal medicine in the US and abroad, in which government and corporate researchers regarded the bodies of people of color, the poor, prisoners and military personnel as tissue for research.

As bioengineering moves toward a posthuman future, corporations patent genes, and governments use genetic markers for surveillance, how much more conscientious are the methods and mindset of medical science than they used to be? How can individuals and communities respond? Artists have a unique role in addressing such questions from a layperson’s perspective with powerful imagery that can bring urgent ethical questions to broad public attention.

“Baneful Medicine” features artists engaged with the betrayal of the Hippocratic Oath (Christine Borland, Arie A. Galles), eugenics and medical crimes against African Americans (Todd Ayoung, Abigail DeVille, Oasa DuVerney), Nazi medical atrocity (Susan Erony, Aharon Gluska, Vitaly Komar and Anna Halberstadt), post-war and present-day violations against human research subjects around the world (Ruth Liberman), scientific objectification of laboratory animals (Verena Kaminiarz), bio-surveillance (Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Aurelia Moser, Allison Burtch, and Adam Harvey), corporate copyright of human genetic material (Larry Miller), bioengineering (Aziz + Cucher, Eduardo Kac), and alternatives to establishment medicine (John SH Lee, Simone Leigh).

The exhibition opens to the public on May 1, 2019, and will be on view until June 21, 2019. The opening reception will be held on May 1, 2019, from 5:30 to 8:00 PM.

For inquiries related to the exhibit please contact Andrew Weinstein:  andrew_weinstein@fitnyc.edu

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