Organized by albertz benda in collaboration with Ardnt Art Agency, THIS IS AMERICA (on view at the Kunstraum Potsdam from August 8 - September 5, 2021) brings together 36 artists, US and foreign-born, who have chosen to call the United States their home. Primarily featuring works created in 2020 and 2021, this exhibition reflects a global sense of precarity and provides a kaleidoscopic view into a country plagued by injustice and inequality. Representing a cross-section of experiences, the artworks included in THIS IS AMERICA contend with a range of issues from housing insecurity and the opioid epidemic to domestic violence and police brutality.
Brooklyn-based artist Cristina BanBan (born 1987 in Barcelona, Spain), who is known for her exaggerated-featured figures and charged compositions, contributes US Summer 2020, her largest painting to date in response to the ongoing efforts for racial equality. The work depicts a Black Lives Matter demonstration, highlighting her signature crowd scenes, in which New York City streets are flooded by protesters and police brutality.
Touching on themes of female experience and resistance, the British-American artist Zoë Buckman (b. 1985 London, UK) will exhibit two sculptures that suspend boxing gloves embellished with embroidery, domestic textiles, ribbons, and bows. Hanging from heavy industrial chains, these sculptures grapples with misogyny and domestic violence by juxtaposing coarse materials and forms traditionally associated with masculine aggression with delicate fabrics and handwork embroidery. feather canyons (2020), one of Buckman’s largest groupings to date, proposes a vision of feminine strength that defies gender expectations.
Addressing social inequality amplified by the opioid epidemic, Timothy Curtis (b, 1982 Philadelphia, US) will present "Aw Man, You wouldn't believe me if I told you" (A short story based in Philadelphia) (2021). Structured in two parts, the composition illustrates how drug addiction, and its consequent deaths and incarcerations, has cut short millions of lives in the United States. On the right side of the composition, an orange prescription bottle spills pills marked poison onto the foreground. Two eyes peer out from behind the orange grid covering the bottle’s opening, suggestive of an imprisoned person. On the left, a tombstone with tally marks overflowing its surface is a grim monument to mounting overdoses.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by DISTANZ, Berlin including more than thirty statements written by the contributing artists as well as thematic essays by Kathy Battista and New York Times best-selling author Roxane Gay.
Farley Aguilar, Daniel Arsham, Cristina BanBan, Alex Becerra, Sharif Bey, Coady Brown, Zoe Buckman, Chloe Chiasson, Will Cotton, Timothy Curtis, Christina Forrer, Genevieve Gaignard. Mark Thomas Gibson, Alfonso Gonzalez Jr., Jameson Green, Caleb Hahne, Asif Hoque, Jarrett Key, David Leggett, Tony Marsh, Shona McAndrew, Louis Osmosis, Alina Perez, Cleon Peterson, Pat Phillips, Patrick Quarm. Kelly Reemtsen, Brie Ruais, Ilana Savdie, Mira Schor, Sojourner Truth Parson, Raelis Vasquez, Charles Edward Williams, Peter Williams, Cosmo Whyte, Hiejin Yoo