Lambda print, 63 x 44”.
Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles / New York / Tokyo
On the Line: Documents of Risk and Faith
Curated by Makeda Best and Kevin Moore
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
September 9, 2022 – January 15, 2023
Catalogue by Gnomic Book
Government Cut Freestyle, 1998
16mm film (color, silent) transferred to DVD, 9’20”
Courtesy of the artist
The works in this exhibition address a range of topics, spanning performance and the body, climate change, power, colonialism and identity, heritage, and territory. They also originate from a common geography of the Americas, the multi-continental, multi-national landmass (and its archipelagos) spanning northern Canada to Southern Brazil. Collectively, they portray complex and contested relationships humans have with notions of environment, wilderness, nature, and place. The “line” metaphor is an organizing principle as well as reference to the precarity of this moment: at serious risk; caught, captured; following the path of a line. The exhibition emphasizes photography, in all its forms, as delivering a special charge to document while also grappling with historical expectations, enlarged geographies, and contemporary urgencies. The photographic documentation of various artistic interventions featured in On the Line—the stills, the videos of these ephemeral acts—suggest an expanded conception of photographic time and the document. These works are positioned as proposals for a new form of social documentary, or “concerned,” photography, extending the historical narrative of photography beyond familiar documentary methods, modalities, and the attendant assumptions of objectivity toward a more honest, embodied, vulnerable, and up-to-date form of consciousness-raising expression.
Featured Artists: Allora and Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs, Mohamed Bourouissa, Abraham Cruzvillegas and Bárbara Foulkes, Mitch Epstein, Patricia Esquivias, Dara Friedman, Jim Goldberg, David Hammons and Dawoud Bey, Rashid Johnson, An-My Lê, Mary Mattingly, Paulo Nazareth, Wendy Red Star, Mauro Restiffe, Lordy Rodriguez, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Kevin Schmidt, Xaviera Simmons, and Tania Willard.