Opening Reception: This Country

Friday, October 26, 2018 at 12:15pm
South Gallery, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery


Saint Louis-based multimedia artist Kahlil Robert Irving is curating the second exhibition at Wesleyan University’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery this fall, This Country, and a series of video screenings, Mapping Energies. 

Street Matter — Decay & Forever / Golden Age, Kahlil Robert Irving’s first solo exhibition in New England, is currently on view in the adjacent Main Gallery, including several pieces commissioned by the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

This Country will be on display through Sunday, November 18, 2018. The Mapping Energies videos will be screened on Friday, October 26, 2018; Tuesdays from Noon to 5pm, and Thursdays from Noon to 7pm, through Thursday, November 15, 2018. 

Danielle A. Jackson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art, who is writing an essay for the upcoming catalogue for the Street Matter — Decay & Forever / Golden Age exhibition, will be in conversation with Kahlil Robert Irving at the opening reception. 

Works by fifteen artists encompass a range of practices and media, and diverse cultural ties from around the world. The exhibition This Country uses the flag as a model for accessing the complex discourse around present day civil rights. The artists included all live in the United States, and the works included represent thoughtful, relevant, and unique statements on the use of a flag as a reference, motif, and symbol. This Country visualizes the power of the flag as these artists touch upon personal narratives, issues, and symbols of what it means to live and work in the United States. Works are included by artists Modou Dieng, Addoley Dzegede, André Filipek, Ari Fish, Rashawn Griffin, Andy Li, Patrick Martinez, Catalina Ouyang, Edward Salas, Aram Han Sifuentes, and Edra Soto.

Working through different archives, monologues, and collage, the works in the series of video screenings Mapping Energies show the complicated nature of what it means to be Black and of the African Diaspora. All works presented respond to the news media, and representations of both current and past events. The works enact a memorialization of past documentary technologies and a simultaneous focus on how reinterpretation interacts with what people see. Two alternating presentations of videos are shared by artists Ja’Tovia Gary, James Maurelle, William Morris, and Saliou Traoré.

This Country and Mapping Energies are organized by the Center for the Arts. The exhibition and its accompanying events were made possible by support from Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts; the Hoy Family Fund; and the Creative Campus Initiative.