Ruptures: Forms of Public Address :: September 4 – October 13, 2012 :: Reception: September 12; 6:00 – 8:00 pm :: The Cooper Union School of Art, 41 Cooper Gallery, 41 Cooper Square, Lower Level 1, New York City.
The School of Art at The Cooper Union is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition and event that explores politically vital issues surrounding public space and speech.
Participating artists: Ida Applebroog, Doug Ashford, Mircea Cantor, Theo Ellsworth & Caleb Monroe, Ganzeer, Igor Grubić, Sharon Hayes, Iman Issa, Will Kwan, Antoni Muntadas, REPOcommons, REPOhistory, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Lincoln Tobier, Liu Wei and Krzysztof Wodiczko.
The past year has witnessed a wave of global civil unrest in which demonstrators have used their bodies to physically block or impede the flow of traffic and capital in city streets and public squares. At the risk of harm, imprisonment, or death, people have disturbed the organizing conditions of urban public life through a collective celebration of defiance. Some of these disruptions have produced a space for creative actions within the public sphere, making a claim about democracy drastically different from the guarantees upheld by traditional liberal constitutions.
Curated by Saskia Bos and Steven Lam, Ruptures: Forms of Public Address is a group exhibition which considers the emancipatory potential of these radical gestures, specifically focusing on how demonstrations and artistic practice are not isolated nor disconnected, but share a similar language of resistance.
The exhibition expands on the discourse surrounding communication and public address investigating art’s role in catalyzing dissensus and difference through a varied approach to speaking and making. It explores the different ways in which artists have brought these issues into their work, ranging from a filmed march involving mirrors as picket signs to choreographic re-enactments of right wing clashes and the distribution of protest signs and pamphlets used in the streets of Cairo.
Situated within the context of the upcoming US elections and the one-year anniversary of the Occupy movement, the exhibition explores the promise and fragility of fearless speech in the aftermath of the 2011 demonstrations, which have erupted across the world in city streets, university campuses, and urban centers. Ruptures pays tribute to the democratic potential of these global movements, while also exploring the risk, dangers, and disassembly of public speech and the subsequent closure of public space.
“A riot is the language of the unheard”: an exercise in unrestrained speech
October 6, 4:00 pm
The Rose Auditorium, The Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Square
Taking its cue from a quote from a 1968 speech about injustice and freedom by Dr. Martin Luther King, this public event engages in the use of the voice in imagining collective and political speech through short readings by artists, scholars, writers, poets, musicians and speakers. Envisioned as a “rough cut” anthology of live subversive speech acts, “A riot is the language of the unheard” is an experimental tribute to parrhesia, or defiant speech.
Contact and directions:
artschool [at] cooper.edu
Gallery entrance on Third Avenue and E 7th Street, NYC
Subways: Astor Place (6), 8th Street (N, R)
For more information on events and exhibitions at The Cooper Union click here.
This exhibition has been generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the George Campbell Jr. Annual Exhibition Fund.
*Image above: Mircea Cantor, Still from The Landscape is Changing, 2003. 22 min, color film with sound. Courtesy the artist and Yvon Lambert, Paris.