Monday, December 8, 2008

The Labyrinth Wall at Exit Art

www.exitart.org


The Labyrinth Wall: From Mythology to Reality is an exhibition in which 51 artists will respond to the turbulent times in which we live, the complex — and often confusing — financial, military, and cultural crises in the United States of America. Responding to the sagging economy, the continued American presence in Iraq, and the crisis facing ordinary people who are losing jobs and homes, we at Exit Art, as a cultural space, felt the urgent need to present an exhibition that explores these aspects of our country and our cultures. The Labyrinth Wall is an immediate reaction to these issues — as our exhibition schedule was shifted to accommodate this show — and uses the labyrinth as a metaphor for the difficult and tangled problems that the Americas face.

Exit Art will be re-configured into a maze constructed of fifty, 8 x 8 foot panels. Each artist will be given one wall on which to respond to the metaphor of the labyrinth and offer instructions on how to escape the issues we are confronted with. The labyrinth serves as a metaphor for the vexing problems that America, under a hopeful new presidential administration, must now navigate.

In Greek mythology, the labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed to hold the Minotaur, a creature that was half-man, half-bull. Designed for King Minos of Crete by Daedalus, the labyrinth was so serpentine and difficult to negotiate that Daedalus himself could barely find his way out. Today, America seems to have found itself at the center of a metaphorical labyrinth. We’ve become so deeply wound into an economic and political maze that our situation seems impossible to escape.

This exhibition also calls attention to the wall as a representation of a political barrier, used for either fortification or for segregation (such as the Berlin Wall, Great Wall of China or the many walls we are building on our Mexican border), or as a form of communication (such as the activities of Chinese Democracy activists on what became known as the ‘Democracy Wall’).


Responding to these metaphors in 2-dimensional media – such as painting, collage, photography, drawing, and stencil – the artists in this exhibition attempt to navigate the complicated issues threatening the way of life in the Americas.
The process of artists creating the walls of the Labyrinth will be open to the public from Tuesday, December 9 to Saturday, December 13. During that time Exit Art will be open 10am – 10pm, Tuesday to Friday, and 12pm – 10pm on Saturday.

Curated by Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo. Concept/Design by Papo Colo.

Participating Artists:

Josh Abram Howard; John Ahearn; Madeleine Arthurs and P.S. 274, Brooklyn; Francisca Benitez; Liz Brown; Luis Camnitzer; Russell Christian; Tyler Coburn; Papo Colo; Ernest Concepcion; Anton van Dalen; Robert Danderov; Iliana Emilia Garcia; Mike Estabrook; Teo Freytes; John Fekner and Don Leicht; Scherezade Garcia; Rico Gatson; Guerra de la Paz; Peter Hildebrand; Vandana Jain and Doris Caciolo; Charles Juhasz-Alvarado; Jayson Keeling; Fawad Khan; Saeri Kiritani; Matthew Kirk; Christopher Knowles; Charles Koegel; Peter Kuper; Nora Ligorano and Marshal Reese; Joan Linder; Miguel Luciano; Yucef Merhi; Bryan Mesenbourg; Paul Miller; Marcus Morales; Irvin Morazan; Rune Olsen; Kevin Pyle; Beau Rhee; Rudy Royval; David Sandlin; Jacolby Satterwhite; Seher Shah; Dan Tague; Seth Tobocman; Lucretia Knapp and Lynne Yamamoto; Heeseop Yoon; Daniel Zeller

MANIFESTO

Chaos is the payback…for arrogance.

Glory is never there…because it is in other places.

So where are we going, with this disappearing wonder,

condescending into a moment of confusion?

What is this state that invented us,

with the collective solitude of patriotism?

What are nations if not walls that become a labyrinth?
-- Papo Colo, 2008

The world economy is in trouble and we have to resolve this
situation from the Americas point of view, collectively and
soon. Nations are dying, continents will be unified, the banker’s
culture will refine its repression and the marginal will grow into
an explosion. And there we are with more time to worry about vanity,
investment and decoration.

-- Juana Gallo, 2008, ‘Loose Thoughts’

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Doing Lines

Asemic writing