Glued to the Seat presents the work of six artists who use narrative elements to reveal hidden truths and confront deep-rooted stereotypes.Through the guise of history, cultural traditions or personal experience, these provocative artists use authorship to expose oppressive stigmas and question sources.
Artists in the Exhibition:
Lili Bernard (’14 Otis MFA Public Practice), Channing Martinez (’13 Otis Fine Arts), Jessica Minckley (’13 Otis MFA Fine Arts), Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz (’13 Otis MFA Public Practice), Hyung min Rhee (’13 Otis MFA Fine Arts), and Susan Slade Sanchez (’13 Otis MFA Public Practice).
On March 2, 1955, fifteen year-old Claudette Colvin was the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama; nine months before Rosa Parks. When recently asked why she didn’t get up, Claudette Colvin replied, “I could not move, because history had me glued to the seat. It felt like Sojourner Truth’s hands were pushing me down on one shoulder and Harriet Tubman’s hands were pushing me down on the other." These six artists are glued to their seats in present day America and are finding their power to change the tide.
Lili Bernard: “The generational struggle of my family and Afro-Indigenous Caribbean ancestors, coupled with my own personal experiences as a mixed-heritage, Black Cuban immigrant in the United States of America, informs my exploration of the diasporic stain of racism, born of colonialism, and of the unconquerable nature of the human spirit.”
Channing Martinez: “I’m interested in using myself as a tool to create conversation, if not contradiction of many of the useless constructions that mainstream media would like us to all fit into…the fact still remains that the African American male body still raises prominent social questions, especially when that body isn’t represented in the typical masculine fashion that it ‘should be’… As a gay man I see it as my duty to raise questions of the community I help to support when I’m faced with homophobia.”
Jessica Minckley works with the idea personal agency - where and how power is activated - and its absence; resulting in hopelessness, futility, immobilization and thus, failure. This investigation insists on representation of, or the implication of, a figure, the image of a live body (always inherently a site for potential violence) as a foundational element, which stems from Minckley's background in observational drawing.
Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz: “Talk is cheap, I know it, you know it, we all know it. As a matter of fact it is so cheap it is practically free! And yet, sometimes we pay a steep price when we misspeak... TALK IS CHEAP: Unincorporated Language Laboratories has set out on the mission of researching and experimenting with this magnificently rich and affordable medium. T.I.C. is comprised of various laboratories that, through questions about language and miscommunication, explore issues dealing with hybrid and continuously evolving practices present in the immigrant community.”
Hyung min Rhee: “When one's value and interest collide with those of others, a translation is bound to be a failure. Metaphors are read differently, symbols bear different meanings, poetries fall apart and the most tragically, jokes fail. Cultural differences are symptoms, not the causes. My current works focus on failure and humor that is unavoidable in translation.”
Susan Slade Sanchez: “At this moment in history, LGBTQ rights are being voted on, debated, over turned, passed and put under a microscope. Many LGBTQ couples have had to hide their relationships with family, neighbors, co-workers and others. I want to give a voice, or better, a face to what a long-term LGBTQ couple looks like in 2013. There has been a lack of role models, especially for LGBTQ youth, a lack of a modern Lucy & Ricky or Mr. & Mrs. Brady in the media and in the world.”
Public Programming all events are free and open to the public:
Saturday, June 22, 4-6pm: Opening Reception, with performative reading of "Losing What You Didn't Know You Had," by Jessica Minckley
Saturday, July 13, 2pm: Performance & Reading with MFA candidates Hyung min Rhee and Jessica Minckley
Saturday, August 24, 12:30pm: Curator and artists led gallery tour
Jeseca Dawson is the Ben Maltz Gallery 2012/14 Curatorial Fellow, and is a recent graduate of the Otis MFA Public Practice program ('12). She is a video performance artist and photographer who explores issues of systemic violence in American culture. Her recent work, Home of the Braver, questions the blind patriotism of our time, focusing specifically on classism, patriarchy and xenophobia.