GRIMM Gallery presents the politically charged exhibition 'Community Board'

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GRIMM Gallery presents the politically charged exhibition 'Community Board'
Installation view.

AMSTERDAM.- GRIMM is presenting an exhibition by a group of artists presenting politically charged works that together form a contemporary community board. Community boards are the foundation of democratic, community-based planning in New York City. They are the first rung of city government, and a critical venue for public participation, consensus building and positive local change.

Taking its title from Brad Kahlhamer’s (US, 1956) Community Board (2002-2004), an immersive eight-meter-wide installation that consists of hundreds of overlapping images that melt together cultural identity, visual artistry and social critique, all works in this exhibition derive from the same vantage point. By combining documents, drawings and posters, Kahlhamer depicts the history and structure of Native American communities within the US and presents an alternative to history as we know it.

Adam Helms (US, 1974) presents An Ideal for Living; a work from 2006 that consists of an assemblage of images – ranging from images of idealized American landscapes to film stills from movies: Dead Man (1995), Night of The Hunter (1955), 28 Days Later (2002), Day of the Animals (1977) as well as postcards, magazine pages, a rabbit pelt, an ornament and the artist’s own photos and drawings. Together, these suggest an ironically utopian and alternative look at the way “off the grid” culture is perceived and idealized in both American and Western society.

Nick van Woert (US, 1979) presents two groups of framed printing screens depicting newspaper articles that cover the MOVE incidents in Philadelphia from 1978 and 1985. MOVE is a black liberation group that lived communally and engaged in public demonstrations against police brutality, racism, and other political issues. In 1985, the police dropped a bomb on their house after a stand-off, killing 11 MOVE members, including 5 children, and destroying 65 houses after the fire burst out of control.

“Hanging a painting is a humane gesture. A painting gets anthropomorphized when it is brought up to accommodate the eyes and in so doing begins to mirror the proportions of the human body. These silkscreens are not hung but stacked, under their own weight from the ground up. I stacked these works, because I want them to be objects, like the lifeless bodies you see in them. The images on the screens are inhumane, they were taken from newspaper articles about the conflicts between MOVE and law enforcement. The screens themselves were never used to make prints but were used because they are a form in the language of reproduction.” – Nick van Woert

Indre Šerpytyte (LI, 1983) explores issues of history and trauma in her work and addresses the recent past of Lithuania, in particular the years of the Second World War, the Cold War, the decades of Soviet control, and the so-called “war after the war”. The themes are universal – the way the past affects the present, the ways in which the political influences the personal, and the importance of memory. The Pedestal series included in this exhibition address the gulf between past and present by contrasting archival images of statues of Lenin sited in grand public spaces, with their current existence in a kitsch nostalgia theme park.

Lucy Skaer (UK, 1975) has reworked 51 original newspaper cover printing plates from The Guardian newspaper that references topics ranging from Margaret Thatcher’s death to the Boston bombing and the subsequent aftermath that overtook the news for days. By reprinting and reworking the original plates, after which almost none of the original information is retained, she refers to loss, history, memory and new insights.

Matthew Day Jackson (US, 1974) presents ‘Metamorphosis’, a group of mixed media works referencing recent American historical events such as the Jim Jones massacre. Made in 2007 using a wide range of process from screen printing, etching, hand coloring to digital printing, Jackson has the ability to fuse images and narratives that are seemingly disconnected creates a critical language that is strange but because the point of reference is well-known Jackson’s work always carries a sense of familiarity. It deals with the past found in the present and could be thought of in terms of archetypes of the undead. To Jackson, ‘Metamorphosis’ is a loose narrative about American ideology and how America could be thought of as akin to a religious cult in which it is both the savior and the destroyer.

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GRIMM Gallery presents the politically charged exhibition 'Community Board'

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