The exhibit, Project for a Re-volution in New York, gets its theme of revolution from the eponymous novel by the French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet. While Robbe-Grillet’s work has been called a cross between an erotic and a detective novel, it follows a character’s fears of culture being subverted—in this case, a gritty 1970s New York City. It offers a window into a man’s fantasies of an overturning of cultural norms, where the underbelly of “rape, arson and murder” rises to the surface, thereby completing a kind of revolution. Note, the dual meaning of revolution, as it describes both a political upheaval and a rotation of social structures.
The novel Project for a Revolution in New York describes the terrifying underbelly of the City in the 1970s; it proposes a vision of orderly society being overshadowed by apocalyptic lawlessness. But that is not the concern of this exhibit. We wish instead to borrow from the big picture ideas that Robbe-Grillet raises, an overturning (or revolution) of systems, social change, and an examination of what lies beneath cultural facades.
Organizers Todd Ayoung and Krishna Ramanujan asked 22 contributing artists to take these themes and use them as a springboard for their own commentary and creations, without censorship. They asked them to use the ideas here to free-associate in the name of an interesting exhibit. While the title of the show contains ‘New York', the city and state are used as symbols for anywhere in the world where universal themes of revolution apply.
Exhibiting artists include Curlee Holton, Kadie Salfie, Kim Asbury, Jim Costanzo, Greg Sholette, Floyd Hughes, Sowon Kwon, Jason van Staveren, Nestor Armando Gil, Antonio Serna, Krittika Rananujan, Suada Demirovic, Kara Lynch, Sarah Gotowka, Lucas W. Melkane, Patricia Capaldi, Elaine Angelopoulos, Kaleb Hunkele, Allison Bolah, and Aaron Bass.
Performances at the opening reception include GK2, Aaron Burr Society and the Poet Melissa Tuckey.
This exhibit is made possible by the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation through generous support from the Community Arts Partnership.