Artists: Alejandra Aragón, Alexis Pye, Alfredo Jaar, Alixa Garcia, Amplifier, Andres Serrano, Artists 4 Democracy, Avram Finkelstein, Catherine Opie, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Chase Hall, Cosmo Whyte, Colectivo Rezizte, Derrick Woods-Morrow, Dread Scott, Edgar Heap of Birds, Edgar Picazo, Elliott Jamal Robbins, Gina Phillips, Gregory Sale, Guerilla Girls, Hank Willis Thomas, Haydee Alonso, INDECLINE, Jacqueline Surdell, Jeffrey Gibson, Julie Buffalohead, Justin Brice Guaraglia, Kota Ezawa, LosDos, Luis Roacho Aguilera, Mark Strandquist, Monica Lozano, Robert Hodge, Robert Longo, Sam Durant, Sheila Pree Bright, Travis Somerville, Troy Michie
In the exhibition This Is America | Art USA Today forty American artists and collectives bring the United States to the Netherlands through paintings, photography, murals, documentation and installations. Their work addresses current themes such as identity, urban living culture, climate issues and "Trump.
The exhibition is social engagement at its best. ---- (NRC)
Road trip US
What is it like to be an artist in the US in these times? Robbert Roos, curator of the exhibition, took a road trip across the country in the summer of 2019. He drove from the east to the west coast and back again, speaking with artists, curators and gallery owners. Roos: 'Politically and socially, it is a torn country, in which not only Republicans and Democrats are fiercely opposed, but also urban and rural areas seem to live in different worlds of experience, racial tensions are as topical as ever, a religious-conservative movement is actively trying to roll back progressive legislation, and the gap between rich and poor seems to be increasingly pronounced. Artists traditionally take positions within the social debate.
Theaster Gates, "Where Black Power Lives," Gary, IN, For Freedoms' 50 State Initiative, 2018. Photographed by Madeleine Thomas
A special section in the exhibition is about the For Freedoms project created in 2016 by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman. For Freedoms organizes gatherings and collaborations to promote freedom of speech, beliefs, fear and poverty and encourage civic engagement. Before the 2018 midterm elections, the platform launched the 50 state initiative. Artists designed some 200 billboards, which were placed throughout the 50 states in the US. In addition to a number of 1:1 billboards, a wide selection is displayed in smaller format on the wall of the main hall.
The exhibition features a wide selection of artwork that says something about the debates going on in the United States. Hank Willis Thomas shows a crashed version of the "General Lee," the orange Dodge Charger from the series Dukes of Hazard, which was on TV in the 1970s, with the Confederate flag prominently displayed on the roof. Dread Scott did a "re-enactment" of a slave revolt in 1811, when a group of enslaved people set out from plantation fields southwest of New Orleans to establish their own state. Catherine Opie created a series of political collage animations in which she addresses current themes of nationality, democracy and identity.
It is art that would be described in English as hands-on - sometimes not very subtle, but straight to the point. And relevant. The activist art makes the problems of ordinary Americans very palpable' **** (Wed.)
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, In The White House (perfectly demonic dynamism), 2018, courtesy of Nino Mier
On view are paintings by Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Travis Somerville and others that focus on religious fanaticism, Trump and the racist culture of the South. Jeffrey Gibson and Julie Buffalohead address the position of Native Americans. Kota Ezawa created an animation around kneeling during the playing of the national anthem by black American football players. A group of artists from El Paso, Texas, and its Mexican sister city, Juarez, depict life in this border region, including the reality of the steel wall that cuts across the traditionally connected cities. The Guerrilla Girls and Avram Finkelstein (Gran Fury) trace their campaigns for the empowerment of women and the LGBTQ community from the 1980s to the present. Justin Brice Guariglia warns of the consequences of climate change through aphorisms on a signal board.
All Things Trump
American photographer Andres Serrano (b. 1950) built a portrait out of paraphernalia surrounding Trump for an exhibition in New York in the summer of 2019. For a year, among other things, he bought on eBay all kinds of items bearing Trump's name, face or signature. In Serrano's view, this is the essence of Trump marketing himself as a "brand. He collected hundreds of photos, caps, mugs and autographed magazine covers, as well as items from his casinos, from his university and the Trump Steak. A selection from the collection is on display at Kunsthal KAdE. At the center is a rotating sculpture with the word "Ego.
Room view "This Is America | Art USA Today," Kunsthal KAdE 2020. LosDos, Operation Hold the Line | The Effects of Imperialism, 2020. Photo: Mike Bink
The United States is far away, but developments there can directly influence what happens in the Netherlands. In the KAdEStudio, visitors can cast their own votes. Accompanying the exhibition is a travelogue by Robbert Roos of his road trip with parts of interviews with artists, curators and gallery owners and lots of visual material. The book is for sale in the KAdEShop.
Haydee Alonso, Amplifier, Alejandra Aragón, Artists 4 Democracy, Sheila Pree Bright, Julie Buffalohead, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Sam Durant, Kota Ezawa, Avram Finkelstein, Alixa Garcia, Jeffrey Gibson, Justin Brice Guariglia, Guerrilla Girls, Chase Hall, Edgar Heap of Birds, Robert Hodge, INDECLINE i.s.m. Eugenio Merino, Alfredo Jaar, LosDos, Robert Longo, Monica Lozano, Troy Michie, Catherine Opie, Colectivo Rezizte, Gina Phillips, Edgar Picazo, Alexis Pye, Luis Roacho Aguilera, Elliott Jamal Robbins, Gregory Sale, Dread Scott, Andres Serrano, Travis Somerville, Mark Strandquist, Jacqueline Surdell, Hank Willis Thomas, Cosmo Whyte and Derrick Woods-Morrow.
Works by Jon McNaughton via: www.jonmcnaughton.com
Works by Sabo at: www.unsavoryagents.com
Billboards For Freedoms by:
Derrick Adams, Sadie Barnette, Zoë Buckman, Paula Crown, Jeremy Dean, Jamila El Sahli, Awol Erizku, Theaster Gates, Jeffrey Gibson, Ken Gonzalez-Day, Eric Gottesman, Gran Fury, Guerrilla Girls, Emily Hanako Momohara, JR, Deborah Kass, Imaikalini Kalahele & Cory Taum, Titus Kaphar, Christine Sun Kim, Stacey L. Kirby, Suzanne Lacy & Anna Ayeroff, Shaun Leonardo, Michelangelo Lovelace, Carrie Mae Weems, Muna Malik, Susan Meiselas, Marilyn Minter, Aïda Muluneh, Christopher Myers, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Kambui Olujimi, Trevor Paglen, Ebony G. Paterson, Gordon Parks, Michelle Pred, Ronald Real & Virginia San Fratello, Jim Ricks, Jon Rubin, William Scott & David Byrne, Xaviera Simmons, Bayeté Ross Smith, Cristina Velasquez, Hank Willis Thomas, Fred Tomaselli, Estevan Valdés, Natalie White, Deborah Willis, Wyatt Gallery.
This project was made possible in part with financial support from Fund 21.
Thanks to the Mondrian Fund for compensation of artists' fees.