EXODUS v: Aesthetics in the Political
Saturday, November 14 through Sunday, December 6
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 21 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
WhiteBox Harlem – 213 E. 121st Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
From Kyoko Sato, Exhibition Curator
Since COVID-19 kicked off with unseen fury in early Spring 2020, all of our lives in New York City have drastically changed. George Floyd’s death triggered protests organized by the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly within our young, multiracial generation country-wide reaching its zenith of protests in the summer months, while by default, incited by anger and disappointment—at times even opportunism—crime increased all around us. Additionally, the most important presidential election in a century took place in a totally fractured country.
Worth remembering, “Me Too,” an unstoppable and remarkable movement preceding the pandemic, happily saw how Time magazine included two Japanese women as part of their yearly “Time 100 Most Influential People” of 2020, namely champion tennis player Naomi Osaka alongside Shiori Ito, a seasoned, award-winning journalist.
Under such circumstances, all New York-based émigré Japanese women artists included in this exhibition have kept, through thick and thin, rain or shine, making art absorbing or inspired by this metropolis’s complicated social shenanigans of late each with a distinctive, personalized way oftentimes radically fusing Japanese and western visual expressions, always pursuing their singular aesthetics in a time of inescapable deep political divisions in their adopted Republic. This exhibition will showcase recent works made during the coronavirus’s highly constraining pandemic alongside a few key historical art milestones befitting the moment.
In short, this extraordinary exhibition doubles as a platform and forum for the examination and discussion of the experience of how art can contribute to the well-being of people living trapped in this momentous time while witnessing how Art becomes essential in the process of healing people’s wounded hearts. The succinct women’s artworks presented in this exhibition oblige as a psychological “elixir” to treat society’s paternalistic ills. Kamala Harris, my new hero, when interrupted ad nauseam by Mike Pence in their recent Vice-Presidential debate, was brilliant at cutting him off by staring at him in the eye and sternly, with dignity, uttered “I am speaking.”
This rare and exquisite exhibition regales the viewer with 15 eloquent artists’ voices speaking out their thoughts and postulates on making art within and/or in response to such a dramatic, historically unforgettable New York moment.
RSVP is required to attend the opening reception. To register, please send an email to email@example.com.
WhiteBox is a non-profit art space that serves as a platform for contemporary artists to develop and showcase new site-specific work, and is a laboratory for unique commissions, exhibitions, special events, salon series, and arts education programs.
WhiteBox offers free and diverse programs for the surrounding communities, including Harlem and the Bronx, and international cultural tourism to experience an artist’s work in a meaningful manner.
The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon until 6:00 p.m. For more information, please visit WhiteBox Harlem’s website.