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That I am Reading Backwards and into for a Purpose, to go on

An exhibition featuring works by Julia Phillips, Kevin Beasley, Brendan Fernandes, Babette Mangolte, Martine Syms, Silvia Kolbowski, Lorenza Mondada, Nicolle Bussien & Sara Keel, Steffani Jemison, Marvin Luvualu Antonio, and Aisha Sasha John.

The current American political crisis presents an acute challenge to the relationship between the visible and knowable, making it now more urgent than ever to consider how truth claims are constructed. This exhibition makes space for the coexistence of historical thought and present action. Working in film, video, sculpture, and performance, the contributing artists tease out the techniques by which the visible and knowable are produced and reckon with the ways the human body is enmeshed in and trained by multiple technologies. The artists use performance, rhetoric, and repetition to remind us that we are historically constructed subjects. The title of this exhibition is a citation of the essay “Removing the Minus” (2012) by the artist, curator, writer, and teacher Ian White. Taking up White’s pedagogical poetics as a working method, this exhibition reckons with history and the construction of the conditions of the present. It is the privilege and duty of art to address both what is seen and the mechanisms of viewership—the keys to which, as White’s quote suggests, lie in reading backward and into while looking toward the future.

A companion publication features texts by Park McArthur, taisha paggett, and Tanya Lukin Linklater.

The exhibition is curated by Magdalyn Asimakis, Jared Quinton, and Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe, Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellows at the Whitney Independent Study Program (ISP).

May 23–June 10
Opening reception: May 23, 5–8pm
Gallery hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11–6pm