It’s been a long ten months since the last U.S. Presidential election, and many have been processed their anguish with protest. One of the biggest actions to date came the weekend after Inauguration Day, on January 21, when an estimated 3 to 4 million Americans took part in the Women’s March, which took on incarnations in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and many other cities. To mark the one-year anniversary of the march, the PR agency Taskforce and a group of activist organizations will partner to stage “Into Action!,” a 150-artist group show that will bring together works made in response to our current political situation. Artists Glenn Kaino, Favianna Rodriguez, and Hank Willis Thomas will co-curate the exhibition, which will open on January 13 and run through January 21.
“At the core of what we believe is that there’s never been a social movement built without young people and artists, and that artists continue to be at the front of the dialogues that are happening locally and nationally about defining who we are and how we want to live in the future,” Yosi Sergant, the executive producer of the exhibition, said. “It’s that simple, right?” The show will accordingly meditate on the nature of social justice, activism, and history today. (The location is as yet unannounced, but the work will require a large space.)
Around 75 artists have already been chosen to participate in the show, among them Kaino, Rodriguez, Thomas, Shepard Fairey, Michael Murphy, Swoon, Patrick Martinez, and Zoe Buckman. But there are still many spots left to fill—the final show will have 150 to 200 participants, not counting those working on the 25 hours of performances and events planned alongside it—and artists are encouraged to send submissions through an open call on the website for “Into Action!”
Those applications will be reviewed by a jury of leaders of activist organizations and museums, as well as a few celebrities. Among them are Los Angeles County Museum of Art curator Rita Gonzalez, Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin, California African American Museum curator Naima E. Keith, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, and musician John Legend. By having the applications judged by people both within and outside the art world, Sergant hopes to produce a show with a multitude of viewpoints, styles, and approaches. There will be art-world types, he said, but there will also be illustrators, fiber artists, and street artists, too. “The goal is to create a show that’s as diverse as the world we live in,” he said.
Reflecting on the past year, Sergant added, the show’s participants will search for alternatives to our current political moment. “We have to look back at the last year and have an honest conversation about the difficulties that many are feeling—about the pain and the frustration and the fear, the feeling of lack of representation,” Sergant said. “In the face of great opposition came great solidarity and intersectionality. So we’ll celebrate that as well.”
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