Equity Gallery is pleased to present Not the End, a group exhibition featuring the works of Wayne Adams, Shana Agid, Geoffrey Chadsey, Aaron Krach, Karen Lederer, Taja Lindley, Cannupa Hanska Luger and Janine Polak. The exhibition will be on view from April 7 through May 6, 2017, with a public opening reception on April 7, 6-8pm.
Each month of last year’s campaign and every day since have been filled with anxiety, and it seems to be getting worse, not better. Every new headline, every congressional hearing and vote (or canceled vote), every damn tweet feels like the start of something new – and not in a good way. Each day arrives with the weight of too many unknowns. Concerns we thought were becoming manageable have resurfaced and been amplified by hateful actions and hateful words.
A similarly anxious era inspired American artists to form Artists Equity (in 1947) in the belief that artists are stronger together. That same year, W.H. Auden coined the phrase “The Age of Anxiety” in his book-length poem set in New York City. That was 70 years ago. Has nothing changed? Are we back where we started?
Not the End explores how artists respond to our current age of anxiety. Will they take to the streets in protest? Will they retrench to their studios? Will they come together to collaborate? Will they continue their pre-election trajectory or change course to create works that react to the times? Yes, and everything in between.
Work in the exhibition acknowledges the gnawing unease felt by so many of us, artists and non-artists alike. The work here embraces resilience. Allusion, metaphor and bite run through the paintings, sculpture, video and collaborative projects featured.
The artists in this exhibition, like so many others who are retaining a dose of optimism in the face of confusion and hate, mix visual pleasure with defiance of the darkness hovering at the edges. They blend poetics and confidence because in this new age of anxiety, we don’t have time for uncertainty.
Image: Aaron Krach, We Are Prepared, 2017, Les Levine subway poster (1981), radiation dosimeter, artist frame, 26 x 22 inches, © Aaron Krach
As part of Not the End, we are pleased to present Cannupa Hanska Luger's The Mirror Shield Project (2016). In March 2017, we invited artists Marie-Dolma Chophel, Christopher Clary, Gregory Climer, Jennifer Dawson, Roxanne Jackson, Aaron Krach, Audra Lambert and Cindy Trinh to make and personalize shields as part of this project.
The mirror shield project was initiated for and at Oceti Sakowin camp near Standing Rock, ND in 2016. Artist Cannupa Hanska Luger created a tutorial video shared on social media inviting folks to create mirror shields for water protectors. People from across the Nation created and sent these shields to the water protectors onsite at camps in Standing Rock. This project has since been formatted and used in various resistance movements across the nation.
"This project was inspired by images of women holding mirrors up to riot police in the Ukraine, so that the police could see themselves. The materials I chose to use were affordable and accessible, and using a reflective mylar on a ply-board instead of glass mirror for safety and durability. This project speaks on when a line has been drawn and a frontline created, it can be difficult to see the humanity that exists behind the uniform holding that line. But those police are human beings, and they need water just as we all do, the mirror shield is a point of human engagement and remembering that we are all in this together. The project represents how just one person can acquire one sheet of plywood and cut it into 6 shields, those shields could stand on the frontline protecting hundreds behind them in prayer for the water and right behind that line stands a camp where there are thousands of people standing for the water protection for the 8 million people down river, who all use the Missouri River as their water source. And so the Mirror Shield Project demonstrates how one person can help protect 8 million." --Cannupa Hanska Luger