The personal is political, a slogan used in the 1960s by the student movement and 2nd wave feminism emphasizes the connections between personal experiences and socio-political structures. It can be argued that all art is political and reimagining AMERICA takes an interest in where these intersections take place in times of personal, social and economic uncertainties. The show explores the way images can move us by constructing and changing our social reality; the collected works speak to a wide range of approaches that address politics in art-making in overt and subversive ways. The timeliness of the exhibition reveals that, when current political structures and climates shift, the lens through which art is seen bends as well, a refocusing. In other words, some works may become more or less “political” over time.
What is the scope of art and how does it deal with everyday politics? At which point does the very gesture of putting art into practice become a political act? The works in reimagining AMERICA were chosen for their singular discussions of power between people, real or imagined. The selected artists in the show challenge the social quo, traditional boundaries, and question a (the?) dominant discourse. Aesthetics, structures, personal, private and public, all exist in the same socio-political spaces. This show is one interpretation of how we can reimagine America through art and active participation.
- Diane Williams, curator (Arroyo Arts Collective & Ben Evans, ace/121 Gallery Director