A Gallery Project Dual-Site Exhibition
ANN ARBOR ART CENTER, SEPT 9 – OCT 8, 2016
Re: Formation examines this unique moment when ordinary people are declaring, ala Peter Finch, “I am mad as hell and I won’t take it anymore.” What is different at this time is that people who have been silent, or silenced, are standing up, speaking out, and, mobilizing for needed change. Highly divergent in life styles with broad-ranging backgrounds, beliefs and values, these individuals are expressing justifiable anger at the accumulation of horrific events and unrelenting injustices that characterize our current era. They are teaming up, across race, gender, politics, and social status with empathy and compassion for their fellow human beings. Their actions are reestablishing belief in a positive future based on fairness, equity, and genuine possibility for all. Is this a tipping point, a moment for reform, or even a revolution? Or is it just another blip before capitulation and regression?
Each day we breathe in incident after incident: unprovoked attacks by home grown and foreign terrorists, rampant gun violence in our schools, brutal police shootings of unarmed black teenagers and men, destruction of voting rights of the poor and minorities, governmental action to remove women’s hard fought reproductive rights, privacy lost to surveillance and hacking, covert decisions leading to the poisoning of Flint’s water, and constant denials of global warming by profiteering corporations and their lobbyists.
People are mobilizing instead of just expressing anger or disapproval. In Flint, a black activist from Chicago and a white survivalist from Flint joined to distribute clean drinking water. They spoke with compassion and force. Recognizing that it is their common humanity which is at stake, they are determined to make a difference. At the University of Missouri, football players and their coach forced the resignation of the college president amid allegations of a racist culture on campus. Black Lives Matter and so many other large and small movements have activated with the tone of a new militancy. Beyonce, at the Super Bowl half-time show and with her most recent album Formation has declared her position and commitment. Hollywood, at the recent Oscars, was repeatedly vocal demanding action in many areas crucial for our common good and survival.
The exhibit challenges artists to express, in all media and in any size including large installation, their perspective of this time of Re: Formation. What is shifting? How are these shifts taking form? How do you experience this time of formation? What is your relationship to it, its impacts on you, your participation in this awareness and militancy? What can or should be done? What outcomes might result and what will the future look like? Re: Formation invites artists to actively express this unfolding reality as observers, participants, documentarians, conjurers and critics.
Artwork for Re: Formation depicts:
– the process of pivotal change in perception, perspective, assumptions, beliefs, habits, choices and actions;
– dramatic relationship changes among people, objects, and places;
– bold, redirected thinking and resulting responses about crucial issues;
– new forms and structures of a transformed society;
– movement in a transformative direction such as towards alternative futures;
– recent horrific events and gradual eroding events, their aftermath, and possible solutions;
– classism and prejudice in issues of social justice;
– conditions that force change; and
– challenges to the status quo.
Exhibiting artists include
Heather Accurso, Hiba Ali, John James Anderson, Michael Arrigo, Siobhan Arnold, Nick Azzaro, Darryl Baird, Barchael (Barry Whittaker and Mike Bernhardt), Morgan Barrie, Carolyn Barritt, Beehive Design Collective (Meg Lemieur), Mark Bleshenski, Jada Bowden, Seder Burns, Ruth Crowe, Dana DePew, Rocco DePietro, James Dickerson, Desiree Duell, Elton Monroy Duran, Dianne Farris, Anthony Fontana, Mark Hereld, Dan Hernandez, Stephanie Howells, Doug Kampfer, Tohru Kanayama, Yusuf Lateef, K.A. Letts, Kate Levy, Julianne Lindsey, Jeremy Link, Melanie Manos, Shanna Merola, Ken Milito, Michael Nagara, Jefferson Nelson, Endi Poskovic, Gloria Pritschet, Sharon Que, Raizup Collective (Antonio Cosme), Boris Rasin, Roger Rayle, Jesse Richard, Arturo Rodriguez, Gary Setzer, Meagan Shein, Anna van Schaap, Sheida Soleimani, Brian Spolans, Jessica Tenbusch, Alex Tsocanos, Ellen Wilt, Robin Wilt, and Viktor Witkowski.