Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, Project Europa considers the relationship of art and artists to democracy. What is the role of art in the public sphere? In what ways do artists mediate the vital and critical political issues of their time? What is the emancipator potential of art? In the exhibition, nineteen artists from the British Isles to Turkey challenge the collective imagination of Europe while confronting a paradox: Europe as the site of possibility and impossibility for creating an egalitarian society.
Europe is a name, a continent, and an abstract idea. Europe was the center of Judeo-Christian tradition and, later, the beacon of the Enlightenment's universal values of equity, tolerance, and reason. Nevertheless, Europe has also given rise to xenophobia and racism, religious intolerance, and the hardening of immigration policies.
This thought-provoking, visually dynamic exhibition includes poetry, photography, prints, paintings, video, installations, and wall drawings, and features an international roster of artists. In the debate between the separation of art from everyday life or the immersion of art into everyday life, these artists stake a claim at the intersection of both sides.
Project Europa: Imagining the (Im)Possible, appeared at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art February 7-May 9, 2010. A preview of the exhibition appeared in Art Forum; reviews will appear in the June issues of Art in America and Camera Austria magazines. The exhibition travels to the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University January 25-March 19, 2011.
Kerry Oliver-Smith is curator of contemporary art at the Harn Museum and coauthor of American Selections from the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.
No Sample Chapter Available
There are currently no reviews available