March 30 — May 17
TAM proudly presents the fourth iteration of the CO/LAB project. CO/LAB is an internationally-minded initiative that connects artist-run spaces in Los Angeles with similar organizations around the world for collaborative and creative projects. CO/LAB 4 welcomes eight artist-run spaces from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to collaborate with eight artist-run organizations in Los Angeles — 16 organizations coming together for 8 curatorial projects.
Featuring: Acceptable Risk LA, Amber Solo, Assembled by Root, De Aanschouw, DE PLAYER, Durden and Ray, DXIX, Foundation B.a.d, HET PLAFOND, LAVA Projects, MADLAB studio, mandujano/cell, Monte Vista Projects, ODD ARK • LA, RAAR, and Tiger Strikes Asteroid.
AURATIC GEOMETRIES | RYAN TABER
A GRAMMAR OF PERIOD FURNITURE AND PERIODIC EVERSION
Auratic Geometries is a solo exhibition showcasing a new series of work by Los Angeles–based artist Ryan Taber. In this series, Taber pushes on the boundaries between model and representation — repetition and reproduction — while working through industrialization via its colonial co-relations.
The BEACON Project is a rotating video installation fusing art and contemporary social and political issues. BEACON is a compilation of next generation artists and their thoughts, ideas, reactions, emotions, and actions in response to social issues.The BEACON Project: Torrance will feature a variety of artists focused on the following 7 themes; Consent, Black, America, Undocumented ,Camp, Migration, and Reproduction.
January 19 — March 9
Protest, noun centers on a select group of Los Angeles–based artists who share an urgent and political drive to engage the character of our moment through their art practices. Through their work these artists produce bodies of work that critically engage social and political currents running through our society. This social and political critique is conducted via a pronounced materiality whereby objecthood announces its structural relationship to meaning and content.
A SOLO EXHIBITION BY KERRY SKARBAKKA
Upset at political correctness, immigration, the loss of jobs and a way of life, angry white men have forcibly attempted to reshape the socio-political landscape. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, White Noise follows the life and eventual downward spiral of one particular white man…me. His story is situated upon my story that began with growing up in an authoritarian Evangelical household on a small farm outside Pulaski, Tennessee (the birthplace of the KKK) and eventually enlisting in the US Army.
In A In
A SOLO EXHIBITION BY KIM ZUMPFE
IN COLLABORATION WITH BACABAYA
place where, before, In A In is an installation and performance rooted in potentials of the still life: fruit, products and waste, leftovers, queer shapes and sounds situated in relationship to the ownership of materials and land. Visual boundaries, such as fences and buildings, create divides in experience that often impact people’s sense of belonging, commonality, place, and behavior within shared geographies. These forms of still life that overlap between the American exotic and mundane provide an alternate experience with materials that are understood in limited ways through use and consumption.
December 1 - December 15
Gallery one and Dark Room
September 22 - November 10
Danial Nord’s solo project, Cloud Nine, is a media-driven installation of life-sized, translucent humanoid figures, suspended in the dark, activated by their flickering smartphones. These radiant data-fueled zombies are networked together while clearly detached from one another - a portrait of 21st-century social disintegration.
July 21 - September 1
June 1 - 30
Studio system ii
Peek into the studio practice of artists at work during TAM's month long in-house Artist Residency. 13 regional, national, and international artists establish studio practices during opening hours in the museum's public gallery with the investigations presented at the closing reception.
March 31 - May 18
An international, emerging artists collaborative project which presents 8 artist-run gallery / spaces in LA partnering with 8 artist-run spaces in Berlin - 16 spaces create 8 joint curatorial projects featuring 76 artists!
BBQLA / Axel Obiger
Dalton Warehouse / COPYRIGHTberlin
Durden and Ray / HilbertRaum
ESXLA / Scotty e.V.
Monte Vista Projects / Å+
PØST / LAGE EGAL
ELEVATOR MONDAYS / ZK/U
Tiger Strikes Asteroid / oMo artspace
dreams & fevers
curated by Melissa tran and Max Presneill
“Meeting MacGuffin: An Animated Ecological Thriller” is the sequel to the multi-award winning stop-motion animated short film “Hanging By A Thread” (2013), the second in a trilogy of short films produced, animated and directed by Catya Plate.
Patio / Lobby:
Sculptures by Jamie Hamilton
Jamie Hamilton presents a new body of sculptural work titled Active Measures, a Russian term for opportunistic tactical operations that attempt to influence the world events.
JANUARY 20 - MARCH 10
SMOKE & MIRRORS
The artists in SMOKE AND MIRRORS investigate the nature of reality; how objects, memories, ideas come into being, how they persist and how they cease to exist. The works want to make ghosts appear in the flesh and, at the same time reveal their illusionary nature. These artists are magicians
of their trade, oblique translators of both physical and virtual environments, recreating stages and props, histories and identities. By exploring the space between known and unverifiable realities, they shed light on the infinite vagueness of the anthropocentric universe.
Gordon Winiemko, Elizabeth Withstandley, Gioj De Marco, Barry Markowitz, Dorsey Dunn, Thomas Müller, Alejandra Urresti, Joséphine Wister Faure, Lewis Colburn, Clifton Childree, Heta Kuchka, Bettina Khano, and Adler Guerrier
Solar Flare: a sudden flash of increased Sun’s brightness. According to NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, this past September seven solar flares were reported in a row - the strongest in over a decade. As a result, intense, high-frequency radio blackouts and navigation disruption was reported.
Solar Flare was organized by the LA-based curatorial collective, Manual History Machines, comprised of Los Angeles-based artists Bessie Kunath, Daniela Campins, Rema Ghuloum and Tessie Salcido Whitmore. Manual History Machines formed to exhibit and support underrepresented artists through exhibitions, events and community engagement.
Manual History Machines presents Solar Flare; an exhibition featuring artists, Sofía Córdova, Daniel Gibson, Elizabeth Folk, Paul Pescador, Heather Rasmussen, and Shanna Waddell in Gallery Two and The Dark Room of the Torrance Art Museum. The artists in this exhibition each respond to their environment, and their life through a unique lens of recollection and mediation. They reconstruct experiences that reflect the personal, the psychological and the subjective. Their practices begin with an examination of the self; whether it be the physical body, personal memory, or a significant place. Through distinct processes, these reflections become reconstructed and removed from the artist to address larger issues that are more environmental, global, political, or existential. These larger themes become subverted and masked behind playful sensibilities; a crude, Guston-like touch of the hand, expressive or seemingly casual processes, or visibly awkward moments captured on camera- all to allow for reflection and transformation. Paul Pescador’s films locate a vulnerable version of self based on investigations of “home”. Objects and images perform relatable feelings through his humorous vignettes. Heather Rasmussen brings a video component to the exhibition as well as photos and objects that all derive their sense of tableau from the the body as a sculptural form. Conversely, Shanna Waddell’s paintings and sculptures are devoid of the body, but graft human-scaled found objects into assemblages that, like Rasmussen’s tableaus, bring in an entropic message about life, death, corrosion and reinvention. Daniel Gibson’s paintings reconstruct specific memories or fictionalized stereotypes based on his personal experiences, place and the characters therein. A constructed and critical voice makes its way into the exhibition through the explorations of the subjective experiences in Sofía Córdova’s video piece as well as through the sculptural work of Elizabeth Folk. Solar Flare serves to honor each of the artists and reinforces the crucial role of the subjective experience as a central core - which everything orbits.
September 9 - November 3
The Cuban Matrix
The Cuban Matrix is an ambitious project featuring an in-depth look at contemporary Cuban artwork, with emphasis on digital media exchange culture. Cuba is navigating two distinct temporal realities: the reality of economic isolation (the blockade) and that of instant communication made possible by increasing access to technology. The focus of The Cuban Matrix is the offline digital “mercado” (marketplace) sharing culture that has arisen around the phenomenon of “El Paquete Semanal”: a weekly terabyte packet comprised of downloaded webpages,information, and entertainment that is shared and consumed throughout Cuban society—a solution to the country’s limited access to virtual information systems. The works comprising The Cuban Matrix explore aspects of the digital mediation between Cuba and the rest of the world, delving into the intersection between the country’s isolation and its increasing interaction with modern technology.
Yoshua Okón: Oracle
The Torrance Art Museum will present the 2015 project Yoshua Okón: Oracle , a multi-channel video installation exploring immigration, borders and nationalism. In 2014, Oracle, Arizona was the site of a large-scale protest against the entrance of unaccompanied children from Central America into the United States. Exploring both sides of the conflict, Okón spoke with children as well as members of AZ Border Defenders, the group that orchestrated the protest. The protestors are filmed in stark contrast to the children, who sing about the 1954 US invasion of Guatemala and the involvement of the government with transnational corporations. The title also refers to Oracle Corporation, a company whose first customer was the CIA. The installation questions the adequacy and the relevance of nationalism in this transnational age.
June 17 - August 12
Why Art Matters! is Torrance Art Museum's response to the potential defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Museum has invited leading curators from across Southern California to nominate artists that reflect upon the project.
Featuring: Carlos Beltran Arechiga, David Eddington, Kim Garcia, Michelle Carla Handel, Julie Henson, Lisa Hoffner, Bessie Kunath, Molly Larkey, Lauren Marsolier, Danny McCaw, Kottie Paloma, Jesse Standlea and Panos Tsagaris
The Torrance Art Museum wishes to announce and invite you to attend the opening reception for Baker's Dozen 6, This exhibition is a survey of thirteen artists whose work has made an impression upon the museum over the last year. These thirteen represent current directions in Southern Californian contemporary art practices.
The works in Redoubling stem from a process of photographing the peripheral fall out from painting. Fusing and jostling together different formats and media, Lamb’s resultant paintings can nonetheless be read as direct outputs of the distinct languages of each discipline. Through digitally manipulating images in Photoshop, the surfaces of the paintings are clearly worked. But in pushing the photographs to the limits of their capacity— to the brink of collapse —an intensification of the colour saturated photograph exudes from within the weave of the synthetic canvas.
JANUARY 14 - MARCH 4
GALLERY ONE :
Cardboard – that ubiquitous material that surrounds us, linking our desires via the packaging of consumer goods, keeping them safe, quenching our thirst for things – is a cheap and throwaway material rarely paid any attention. But some artists grasp the amazing malleability of it – its strength, its ability to be transformed. These 13 artists find ways to play with the pulped wood to invent new narratives. From replicating realistically the objects around us, to exploring structures, to humorously delighting us, they reconstruct the basic elements into fantastical pulped fictions.
ANiMIST, new paintings from Jon Flack
November 19 - December 16
Gallery One & Two
South Bay Focus is a contemporary and traditional art juried exhibition presented in conjunction with the Torrance Artists Guild and the South Bay Watercolor Society. SBF is open to all artists living or working in the South Bay area, including Long Beach and San Pedro. This year’s Juror is renowned curator and art critic, Peter Frank.
September 3 - October 29
Gallery one & Dark Room
The Gildless Age explores the Los Angeles and California socio-political and eco-geographic landscapes as the epitome of political and industrial tendencies emerging from the Gilded Age of American history.
The Gildless Age, guest curated by Denise Johnson in conjunction with the
museum's curatorial department, takes as its lens and starting point the poster for the film Endless Summer by John Van Hamersveld. From this point The Gildless Age unpacks the landscapes of contemporary southern California, revealing more often than not complex histories of labor, race, environmental engineering, exploitation and violence that trace their lineages to the so-called Gilded Age. The Gildless Age sees this epoch comprising the birth of the American petrochemical industries, Jim Crow segregation, labor struggles, post-war migrations and American Imperialism watermark our modern sociopolitical climate.
THINGS THAT GET IN OUR WAY
As part of an international installation project spanning the United States, Australia and Sri Lanka, Torrance Art Museum presents Swedish artist Gustav Hellberg's Thing that Get in Our Way. This installation, part video and part experimental device, unpacks the way in which our relation to and conception of radiation is grounded in myth-based discourses . Hellberg challenges possible understandings which seek to explain why people still seem unable to understand their surroundings without mythic intervention. In the exhibition audiences are invited to interact directly with the gamma ray detection device and follow the artist's self-described "futile quest" to explore invisible and, to most people, unknown power issues.
JUne 18 - August 13
The artists included in Grafforists inherently deal with the realization of painting as a performative existential act. The very making of the paintings that they create become signifiers of their own mortality, or at least the object which rejects it. For when an artist dies, this is what we are left with—their thoughts and their bodily movements, body and mind together, making decisions that reflect their concerns, personality, thoughts, memories and desires. What more could we ask for, both as artists leaving something behind in our wake and as viewers allowed the intimacy of this connection to another person?
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
Los Angeles artist Carl Berg has asked over one hundred artists, curators, critics, collectors, family and friends, whom he calls his “collaborators”, to name their favorite music album. From this list Berg has created over one hundred works using various imaging software programs visually abstracting lyrics and/or music that are then printed as archival inkjet prints. He describes this process as “painting with symbols”. The works are then mounted on a panel and are approximately the size of an LP album cover.
April 12 - May 28
Coordinated as a collaboration between German curators Dr. Julia-Constance Dissel and Sandra Mann, Los Angeles-based curator Ichiro Irie and Max Presneill, this exhibition explores similarities of practices that occur within globally expansive yet hyper-connected art production. Taking as its starting point similar thematics and/or formal artistic investigations (technique, material, methodologies, etc.) Doppelgänger reflects on similarity as a tool to investigate both the hyper-connectivity that exchanges issues, trends and impulses on global scale as well as the simultaneity of expression that it engenders. In this way, the curators engage the capacity of art's function as a seismograph for sociological development.
The first US solo exhibition of the works of Yaşam Şaşmazer. Yaşam is a Turkish artist living and working in Berlin. Her work has been shown in Berlin, Dubai, Istanbul, London and Seoul and has been featured in exhibitions at Saatchi Gallery, London; CerModern, Ankara; Gdańska Galeria Miejska, Gdansk; and Galerie Terminus, Munich, among others. Şaşmazer has been also been included in international biennials in China, Italy and Sweden.
An international curatorial initiative acting with a global network of cultural institutions to bring a wide range of video projects to international spaces and festivals. It is created and curated by Wilfred Agricola de Cologne. The screening project encompasses five programs of audio-visual art prepared by artvideoKOELN exploring an explosive topic endangering the human species.
January 16 - March 12
The curators, Max Presneill and Ashley Garrett, approached eleven emerging and experimental art spaces in the New York area and asked the curators of these spaces to nominate fourteen emerging New York artists. These fourteen New Yorkers then chose fourteen corresponding Los Angeles artists whose work spoke to, inspired and/or informed their own practices.
Taking as its point of departure the historic competition between the East and West coasts, Sibling Rivalries transforms the traditional, ‘competitive’ understanding of the term. In this exhibition, ‘rivalry’ expands to encompass a dynamic interaction between art practices occurring in the two primary art and culture production centers of the United States. This exhibition sees the dynamic tension of East Coast, West Coast rivalry as a productive form capable of illuminating contrasting approaches to mutual concerns.
November 14th-December 11th
Gallery One & Two
South Bay Focus 2015
South Bay Focus is Torrance Art Museum’s annual Contemporary and Traditional Juried art exhibition. The 2015 South Bay Focus is presented in conjunction with the Torrance Artists Guild and the South Bay Watercolor Society and is open to all artists living or working in the South Bay, San Pedro and Long Beach. This year's Juror is Maurizzio Hector Pineda, Assistant Curator of the Torrance Art Museum.
The 3rd SUR:biennial will take place at four venues in Los Angeles: Torrance Art Museum, Manhattan Beach Art Center, Rio Hondo College Art Gallery, and Cerritos College Art Gallery. In addition to the four main gallery exhibitions, the organizing institutions will host a series of panels, performances, and events in conjunction with this year’s biennial.The biennial will showcase recent works of local and international artists who have been influenced by the cultures and artistic traditions of Mexico and Central and South America. Unlike many recent exhibitions of Latino/a, Mexican, Mexican-American, or Chicano/a art, the SUR:biennial seeks to explore notions of globalization and exchange that take place in the ambiguous geographical, cultural, and artistic borderlands between Los Angeles and “the South,” regardless of the artist’s nationality. Artists confirmed for the 3rd SUR:biennial are Ismael de Anda III, Juliane Backmann, Juan Bastardo, Guillermo Bert, Daniela Campins, Carolyn Castano, Anibal Catalan, Beatriz Cortez, CUBO (Jennifer Donovan, Gabriela Torres Olivares, Nina Waisman, Flora Wiegmann, and PD programming by Marius Schebella), Carribean Fragoza, Ed Gomez, Romeo Guzmán, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, Daniel Lara, Patrick Martinez, Rebeca Méndez, Gerardo Monterrubio, El Nopal Press, Jimena Sarno, Francesco Siqueiros, and Eloy Torrez..Curators James MacDevitt, Robert Miller, Esmeralda Montes, and Max Presneill carefully selected venues not only on the east side of Los Angeles where Latino/a culture has historically flourished, but in the South Bay and coastal communities, which have not been typical spaces for the display of Latino/a art. This year’s program will incorporate a range of artistic forms – sculpture, painting, craft, new media, and performance – all of which demand a shift in the viewers’ perception of the “SUR.”
States of Being
The Torrance Art Museum presents States of Being, an exhibition curated by Julia Schwartz that philosophically explores how nine artists construct meaning through use of various materials.
The phrase states of being can reference many different physical and psychological properties. However, these international artists – Valerie Brennan, Rebecca Campbell, Lucy Mink, Mira Gerard, David McDonald, Jennifer Wynne Reeves, Julia Schwartz, Sabine Tress, and Julie Torres – are united in their desire to interpret their world in particular and specific terms. Each identifies a particular state of being as essential when creating their work, whether it be painting, drawing, or sculpture. Their state of being is not necessarily reflective of a state of mind. Instead, these artworks reveal how the artists find or expose themselves at any given point in time – as mothers, fathers, women, men, artists, survivors, traumatized souls, and human beings.
The Studio System Experimental Residency project was a unique attempt to bridge the gap between artistic practice and the public. By opening up the processes and methodologies of a studio-based approach to the engagement of a wider audience, we have set the stage for you to see 'behind the scenes' as it were. Visitor, has direct interaction with the artists to discuss inspirations, sources, thoughts, feelings, content and context as well as chart the progression through the works over the period of 29 days that the project encompasses.
This continues the TAM's dedication to exploring new ways of understanding and engaging with the art of our time and those that produce it.
We thank these artists, from Torrance, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, for their openness and generosity in committing to this unusual
presentation: Sydney Croskery, Elizabeth Dorbad, Nancy Evans, Josh Hagler, Seth Kaufman, Hung Viet Nguyen, Don Porcella, Dickson Schneider, Mariangeles Soto-Diaz, Vincent Tomczyk and Valerie Wilcox.
KAY WHITNEY ; .... a deceit
All art is basically a kind of deceit - it proposes alternatives for reality, utopian choices that bear little potential for probability. This kind of deceit is harmless; art represents a little white lie that contains maximum imaginative potential, creating its own belief environment; a fantasy with tangible elements. I’m making multiple Pinocchio’s, each piece tweaking reality, lying just a little, each piece growing its own long nose. I leave the multiple layers of my work exposed in a series of sections that can be freely connected without imposing a ‘closed’ reading or experience. I generate my sculptures, drawings and collages using something like a musical score - a score that involves sequences, folding, splicing, notation, accumulation and aggregation. Each time the pieces are displayed they are different; between one showing and the next sections stretch out and wrinkle, alignments shift, different stresses show up. I work with a number of references; the intimate and the distant, the machine and the body, the natural and the synthetic, the idea that nothing is fixed in how we perceive or interpret. I deliberately chose materials that are the conceptual opposite of the images they serve.
I’m dealing with ideas about indeterminacy, flexibility, and the possibility of continuous transformation. The result is a body of work that creates otherworldly environments, invented topographies and seemingly organic structures from inorganic materials. The scale of my work is always in relation to the human body. I also think about the experience of my work as being theatrical. The placement of the work in a space, how it is lit, and the amount of surrounding space are all calculated. Because the surfaces of my work shift and follow the perspective of the viewer, there is a perceptual change that coincides with a person’s physical movement within the gallery space.
Sean C. Flaherty
Nikki S. Lee
Joshua Mark Logan
Curated by Chris Reynolds
Second Sight refers to the apparent power to perceive things that are not present to the senses. Conversely, this term is also adopted by theorist Roland Barthes in his criticism and theorization on photography, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Barthes states that the “photographer's 'second sight' does not consist in 'seeing' but in being there”. Second Sight: New Representations in Photography ventures beyond our preconceived perceptions of what is and what is not photography today. Whether they investigate photographic image-making as object, history, truth, or trompe l'oeil, these artists challenge, push, and ultimately expand upon the lexicon of photography.
UK artist, influential educator and cult musician.
January 17th - March 7th, 2015
Is there a current resurgence in the notion of the Romantic in contemporary painting today and if so how is it related to bygone versions, how is it different and where is it coming from?
The American West has been the site of assessment and reassessment by artists since before it was called "Old" and continues to exert an influence on the art of our own day. From concerns with individualism to the direction of the Nation, Manifest Destiny to ecological issues, from pop references to the historicized Western genre itself, we can trace ideas about ourselves and the notion of America through the glass of the West.
THE DARKROOM PRESENTS:
Video+Sound Art Exhibition
Danielle de Picciotto and Alex Hacke
Sam Marlow and Alon Cohen
Nicole Antebi and Laura Ortman
Kitzinger Gabor and Alex Hamadey
Shir Lieberman, Jonathan Phelps and Fabio Fonda
Curated by Leo Kuelbs and Karl Erickson
NOVEMBER 8TH - DECEMBER 5TH, 2014
South Bay Focus is Torrance Art Museum’s annual Contemporary and Traditional Juried art exhibition. The 2014 South Bay Focus is presented in conjunction with the Torrance Artists Guild and the South Bay Watercolor Society. This year's Juror is Scott Canty, Director and Curator of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.
CologneOFF X is standing under the theme of “Total Art”, showing video as a multi-faceted artistic audio-visual medium, which is executed solely by its creator or a group of collaborating artists, including filming, cutting, editing, composing, post-production, etc., thus the whole creation in one single hand.
Curated by Lisa DeSmidt, Max Presneill, and Chris Reynolds
Shiva Aliabadi, Tanya Batura, Joshua Callaghan, Michelle Carla Handel, Mary Hill, Anna Sew Hoy, Ashley Landrum, Andrew Lewicki, Christopher Miles, Marco Rios, Noah Thomas, Shirley Tse, Torbjorn Vejvi, Eve Wood
Robin Jiro Margerin
This exhibition is a collective exhibition project, bringing together new works by Parisian artists.
TIME is Love Screening is a roving international video art program on the theme of love in hard times.
Since 2008 the project has been exploring forms of artistic expression rising from society and the new media's use of technology.
Ricardo Alcaide, Emilia Azcarate, Juan Pablo Garza Romero, Jaime Gili, Dulce Gómez, Esperanza Mayobre, Ana Maria Mazzei, Teresa Mulet, Susana Reisman, Luis Romero, Fabian Salazar
June 7 - July 26, 2014
This exhibition examines the relationship between the notion of the ‘Flâneur’ and the City ‘dérive’ under the pressure of being watched via CCTV cameras and monitoring. How does one engage with the disinterested observations of the wandering eye when self-consciousness about being both the observer and the observed interfere with the experience?
179 Easy Steps to a Masterpiece is the answer to every aspiring artist's questions. An easy How to…like Painting for Dummies. However the 179 easy steps might not be so easy after all and the more you get into the work the more irrational it seems to become...
The Darkroom Presents
This installation is the third part of a multi-phase project that started in the summer of 2011. It began with the launch of a website to collect stories about a friend, Matt Winthrop, who had passed away the prior year. The website contained a built in audio recorder, enabling people to speak privately and tell their story of Matt. Since stories become the record of our existence, the idea was that through these stories a stranger could get an understanding of a person they had never met.
Cartographia: Artifacts of a Creative Journey
Curated by James Scarborough
This exhibition proposes that artists are mapmakers, their works, maps, and their audience, orienteers. It also suggests a correlation between its content and form. If maps and mapping strategies are the content, then a virtual exhibition is its form. What is web surfing and its clickstream but synonyms for the mapping of a journey through the digital landscape?
March 29 - May 15, 2014
Prep School: Preppers & Survivalist Ideologies and Utopian/Dystopian Visions
Curated by Max Presneill and Lisa DeSmidt
Over the last decade there has been a snowball of factors that have contributed to this exhibition. They range from popular culture to interpretations of the Constitution.
There are divisions in our society that strain the notion of an encompassing nation that the USA wants to see reflected in the mirror. But as political partisanship affects the ability of the Government to work we can also identify the role of blogging, of grass-roots ‘base’ politics, religious disagreements and political fear-mongering, ethnic mistrust and class disparities - all combining to test the ideals of the great mixing pot and to push at the normal parameters of society’s bonds. When the belief and trust of the citizens of a nation falter we see suspicion and isolationist tendencies arise. The apocalyptic then taints all aspects of our culture.
The increased perception that we all need to be ready for disaster, at all times, has found its way out of the paranoid fringes and into the mainstream, thanks to the televised realities of the aftermath of disasters, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina in particular, as well as in popular culture such as the zombie genre.
A ‘feedback loop’ can be inadvertently created by which the views and inclinations of the citizenry can be mutated by the social rhetoric, gaining ground and encouraging extreme positions, the radicals shouting the loudest, the fostering of fear as a way of existing. Our hope is that this exhibition will turn the spotlight on to these ways of thinking and question their validity, re-question our own positions and biases, and let these artists provoke a set of reactions for us that lead to shifts in our own attempts to rebalance how we interact with others and view our role in society and what that society deserves from us. (Max Presneill)