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Federico Solmi - Projects - Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Installation view of Singing in Unison. Photography by Robert Banat.

Singing in Unison: Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy | An ongoing Rail Curatorial Project Curated by Phong H. Bui and Cal McKeever

Having witnessed two ruptures—the pandemic and the ongoing crisis of our social and political condition, implemented in part by those who deploy technology and social media to create chaos and anxiety for self-serving purposes—we at the Brooklyn Rail responded by swiftly launching our New Social Environment (NSE) daily Zoom lunchtime conversation series. The NSE has now completed over 560 episodes and has reached a viewership of more than two million since the first program aired on March 17, 2020. It cultivates thoughtful discussions on pertinent topics in the arts, humanities, and sciences and values the amplification of “social intimacy”—in contrast to “social distancing”—through culture. The NSE, like the Rail itself, is freely available to all and aspires to help heal our social and political ills through the arts and the humanities.

As an extension of this important communal action, we now feel a great sense of urgency to create a large exhibition that will unfold over a period of several months and will bring together many different kinds of practices, styles, and voices. As we slowly emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, this timely exhibition is a celebration of hope for the future, in a similar spirit to our critically praised, monumental exhibition Come Together: Surviving Sandy in 2013. The unifying idea behind this wide-ranging and broadly inclusive exhibition is suggested by its title: Singing in Unison: Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy.

This exhibition is inspired by an underlying philosophy that runs through American history and advocates for “the art of joining” as a social and cultural process that can mediate the disequilibrium within American politics and culture. Spread across eleven venues, the exhibition will combine works of art made by artists who were formally trained alongside works by artists who were self-taught, including works by incarcerated artists and artists who struggle with mental illness. Among the participating artists, many urgent themes and topics, such as gender, ethnicity, and the limits of knowledge, will be prominently featured.

As an integral part of the Rail’s curatorial vision, which emphasizes cross-pollination of the arts and humanities, there will also be a good deal of public programing, including panel discussions with artists, historians, and curators; readings of poetry and fiction; film screenings; music and dance performances; along with cooking performances led by Rirkrit Tiravanija and Tomas Vu, which will be organized in each location throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Each iteration of the exhibition will be dedicated to one of our recently deceased friends, as a tribute and form of living memory to that friend’s lasting contributions.

Part 2, Featuring works by:
Tony Bechara, Brian Belott, Robert Bergman, Vivien Bittencourt, Lauren Bon, Katherine Bradford, Phong Bui, Lili Chin, Courttney Cooper, William Corwin, Thornton Dial, Sam Doyle, Aleksandar Duravcevic, Edward Durnford, William Edmondson, Lucy Fradkin, Joe Fyfe, Rico Gatson, Allen Glatter, Glenn Goldberg, William Hawkins, Mara Held, David Humphrey, Y.Z. Kami, Ben Keating, Matvey Levenstein, Erik Lindman, Vera Lutter, Chris Martin, Tom McGlynn, Sam Messer, Joe Minter, Andrew Moeller, Loren Munk, Jo Nigoghossian, Louis Osmosis, Jacob Ouillette, Martín Ramírez, David Reed, David Rhodes, Ethan Ryman, Julian Schnabel, Zorawar Sidhu & Rob Swainston, Arthur Simms, Federico Solmi, Mary Tillman Smith, Fred Tomaselli, Purvis Young, and Lisa Yuskavage.

Scully Tomasko Foundation 
447 West 17th Street 
New York, New York 

View more at The Brooklyn Rail

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