AmeriKKKa the Beautiful

Curated by Raul Zamudio and organized by Juan Puntes
November 4 – November 11, 2012
Opening Reception, Performances and Live V.J. by Igor Molochevski and special guests
Tuesday, November 6, 6pm – 12am

The idiosyncratic spelling of the exhibition entitled, AmeriKKKa the Beautiful may remind some of a particular, militant past, partially appropriating the acclaimed musical recording by Ice Cube after he left the influential rap group N. W. A. However, the exhibition is more than an homage to one of the most compelling rap recordings of all time; the title is used as framework to explore the notion of America by artists who work within the U.S. and abroad regardless of nationality. The transnational dimension of the exhibition is tangentially inspired by some of the most poignant observations of America that have come, for example, from foreigners such as the nineteenth-century French historian Alexis de Tocqueville, the twentieth-century French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, and the contemporary Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier.

Like the unique perceptions of America by de Tocqueville, Baudrillard and von Trier, the ways the exhibiting artists individually approach the exhibition’s theme is highly diverse, eclectic and personal. Some mine the reality of America by focusing on recent issues of a political and social nature. Other artists address historical topics or create work that is purely based on fiction, myth, and the imaginary. The exhibition distinguishes itself from recent shows about America by including artists from beyond the U.S. in order to offer a richer perspective on America and the myriad emotions that it engenders towards it including fear, despair, shame, hope, admiration, pride, love and hatred.

Lastly, the exhibition will have a particular curatorial and installation structure, including projected, live feeds from both the Obama and Romney election headquarters during the day and evening of the Presidential election on November 6. Rather than having two distinct feeds with two projectors, both feeds will be channeled through one projector and superimposed on each other. There will also be flat screens televising the election live from other stations such as Al Jazeera in Arabic, Univision in Spanish, KBC in Korean and so forth. In displaying live feeds and re-situating them as ready-made performance art, the exhibited works will be layered with wholly other levels of meaning as they resonate within global contexts set against the backdrop of the American Presidential election.

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