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May You Survive In Interesting Times


SP/N Gallery - University of Texas Dallas (UT Dallas)

UTD’s SP/N Gallery presents an exhibition of artists’ installations that move beyond the perceived curse of ‘living in these interesting times’ to one of ‘surviving in these interesting times’. Through their creative propositions, these artists present an array of alternative perspectives to experiencing ‘these interesting times’, often in exception to the categorical thinking of ’fake news’ rhetoric proliferating the media.   

This exhibition features the following creatives working in the field of installation-based inquiry:

THE COLOR CONDITION      STEPHEN LAPTHISOPHON       RYDER RICHARDS

JOSEPHINE DURKIN             LESLIE MARTINEZ                    SHEILA CUNNINGHAM 

TABATHA TROLLI                  JIM BURTON                             ASHLI HAN 

MARCELA REYES                           VET                                  SARAH LARSON

Curated by Greg Metz 

The 58thVenice Biennale exhibition curated this year by Ralph Rugoff carried the title ‘May You Live in Interesting Times’.   A title that supposedly comes from an ancient Chinese curse manifesting itself in ‘one crisis after another’… suffering ‘one disturbance and shock after another’, which western politicians then referenced for over a century.   The truth is that this so-called ‘curse’ was a fictionalized ‘Occidental Orientalism’- employed for effect to rhetorically influence the state of affairs in much the same way the political operatives today have introduced ‘Fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’. (1) This methodology was at the heart of Naomi Klein’s 2007 book ‘Shock Doctrine’ on how politically motived manufactured crisis have been commandeered to enlist support to impose power to counter such impending threats. 

In keeping relevant to this theme of the times, for the artist, ‘May You Survive in Interesting Times’ goes beyond just ‘Living’ in the swirl of the ‘fake’ and frenzy driven news cycles during such critical times controlled by so many who can afford presses and have hijacked media outlets. Instead, it speaks to how one actually demonstrates their ability to control one’s own narrative of identity to thus ensure a continuing practice essential to their creative survival and lending a greater understanding to the diversity of the world as such.

A hopeful assurance to such survival is the diversity of prospects each artist brings to the times and collective space. Be it wit-full and humor-laced, polemic in nature, absurdist in prophecy, conceptually dynamic, material/media-heavy, relationally driven, truth as be-known and bespoken, there is no single ‘virus’ that can threaten to wipe out the lot.  

Reception: September 20, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

https://universes.art/en/venice-biennale/2019/may-you-live-in-interesting-times

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