Another Justice: US is Them
Hank Willis Thomas | For Freedoms
July 23 to November 6, 2022
ZOË BUCKMAN, PAMELA COUNCIL, JEREMY DENNIS, JEFFREY GIBSON, ERIC GOTTESMAN, CHRISTINE SUN KIM, MUNA MALIK, JOIRI MINAYA, KOYOLTZINTLI MIRANDA-RIVADENEIRA, KAMBUI OLUJIMI, HANK WILLIS THOMAS, MARIE WATT
The Parrish Art Museum has invited Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976, Plainfield, NJ), a conceptual artist working with themes related to identity, commodity, media, and popular culture, and For Freedoms–the artist coalition he co-founded with Eric Gottesman, Michelle Woo, and Wyatt Gallery with the mission to model and increase creative civic engagement, discourse, and direct action—to consider the Museum as a site for works that encourage new ways to experience art, architecture, landscape, and community. On view in the Parrish galleries, outdoors on the Museum grounds, and as digital billboards on the Shinnecock Monuments on Sunrise Highway, Another Justice: US is Them includes nearly 30 works by 12 contemporary artists—many created specifically for the exhibition—in mixed media, sculpture, site-specific installation, wall painting, and photography.
The participating artists have collaborated with For Freedoms to encourage audience participation through art, collaboration, and cultural strategy. A robust schedule of public programs during the run of the exhibition will delve into overarching themes and specific works.
Planned in conjunction with For Freedoms’ ongoing campaign, Another Justice: By Any Medium Necessary, the works on view will be a call to the community to reconvene, and reconsider what justice can be in a time of imbalance. Together, they will ask the viewer to imagine a just world. How do we get there from here? What is your role?
While Buckman’s embroideries explore joy as an antidote to violence against women, Minaya’s collaged photographs of camouflaged figures address idealization of female bodies. Olujimi’s drawings of U.S. presidential assassins ask who gets to render justice and on whose behalf? Thomas’ large-scale textile works, made of deconstructed U.S. flags and prison uniforms, investigate the fabric of our nation, while Gottesman obscures or reimagines images of violence and appropriated indigeneity by white makers. Council’s sculptures, built from factory conveyor belts and painted in brilliant color, relate to her family’s history working in the nearby potato fields. Outdoors, Malik’s boat evokes a collective travel towards a more just world, and Thomas’ neon sign honors those who actively participate in society but are not often recognized.
Works by Indigenous artists Dennis (Shinnecock), Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw-Cherokee), Miranda-Rivadeneira (Ecuadorian, Chi’xi), and Watt (Seneca), will be shown on the nearby Shinnecock Monuments, 62-foot-tall electronic billboards put up by the Shinnecock Indian Nation along the highway in 2019 to generate revenue for the Nation. The digital billboards included in this presentation engage with the Land Back Movement and invites the viewer to consider their own relationship with the land.
In an ongoing partnership with the Museum, The Watermill Center has invited Thomas and For Freedoms for a residency from September 14 to October 7, 2022, as part of their Inga Maren Otto Fellowship for visual artists. Previous Inga Maren Otto Fellows who exhibited at the Museum include Tomashi Jackson (2021), Lucien Smith (2019), and Barthélémy Toguo (2018).
During the residency and in collaboration with The Watermill Center and the Parrish, For Freedoms will organize a series of public programs and Town Halls with members of the East End community.
Another Justice: US is Them is organized by Corinne Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects, with support from Brianna Hernández, Curatorial Fellow, and is co-curated by Hank Willis Thomas and Carly Fischer.
The exhibition is made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer; Alexandra Stanton and Sam Natapoff; Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins; Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder; George Wells; Scott and Margot Ziegler; Nina Yankowitz; Caroline Hoffman; The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family; and Storm Ascher, Superposition Gallery. We are also grateful to Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, Hong Kong, Palm Beach; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; Pace LA; and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London for their in-kind support.
The Parrish Art Museum’s programs are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and by the property taxpayers from the Southampton School District and the Tuckahoe Common School District.
FOR FREEDOMS is an artist collective that centers on art and creativity as a catalyst for transformative connection and collective liberation. By wielding the power of art, the group aims to deepen and expand its capacity to interrogate what is and imagine what could be. An art collective founded in 2016 by a coalition of artists, academics, and organizers—including Hank Willis Thomas, Eric Gottesman, Michelle Woo, and Wyatt Gallery—For Freedoms promotes infinite expansion through art, and is dedicated to awakening a culture of listening, healing, and justice.
ZOË BUCKMAN (b. 1985, Hackney, East London, UK) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, and photography, exploring themes of Feminism, mortality, and equality. Notable solo shows have included Nomi at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, No Bleach Thick Enough, at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, Heavy Rag at Fort Gansevoort Gallery New York, Let Her Rave at Gavlak Gallery Los Angeles, Imprison Her Soft Hand at Project for Empty Space, Newark; Every Curve at PAPILLION ART, Los Angeles; and Present Life at Garis & Hahn Gallery, New York.
PAMELA COUNCIL (b. 1986, Southampton, NY) lives and works in New York and Newark is an interdisciplinary artist who uses sculpture, architecture, writing, and performance to create multisensory dedications that both provide relief and prompt exuberance. These dedications – including Council’s iconic “fountains for Black joy” – upend the praxis of the static monument that demands the allegiance of passersby to, instead, serve as sites of deep care: their forms’ “high maintenance” calls viewers to an equally rigorous and cathartic tending of memory. Council coined the term BLAXIDERMY to describe their distinctive Afro-Americana camp aesthetic, which marries humor and horror in the exploration of material, cultural, and metaphysical inquiry.
JEREMY DENNIS (b. 1990, Southampton, NY) is a contemporary fine art photographer and a tribal member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation. In his work, he explores indigenous identity, culture, and assimilation. Dennis received a 2016 Dreamstarter Grant from Running Strong for American Indian Youth to pursue On This Site, which uses photography to showcase significant Native American sites on Long Island. His work is in the Parrish Permanent Collection, and he was the 2018 Parrish Road Show artist. He was part of Art on the Grid by Public Art Fund in 2020. He lives on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, where he founded Ma’s House, a BIPOC artist residency.
JEFFREY GIBSON (b. 1972, Colorado Springs, CO) is an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the Choctaw and Cherokee nations. His artworks reference various aesthetic and material histories rooted in Indigenous cultures of the Americas, and in modern and contemporary subcultures. Gibson’s work has been featured in exhibitions worldwide, including the 2019 Whitney Biennial, and is held in public and private collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Denver Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. In 2019, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He is a faculty member at Bard College and is based in Hudson, NY.
ERIC GOTTESMAN (b. 1976, Nashua, NH) is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Creative Capital Artist, a Fulbright Fellow, an Artadia awardee, and a co-founder of For Freedoms. His work addresses nationalism, migration, structural violence, history and intimate relations. His projects question accepted notions of power, engage communities in critical self-reflection, and propose models for repair. His work has been shown at health conferences, on the televised opening of the NFL season, inside government buildings, on indigenous reserves, inside post-war rubble and in museums like MoMA/PS1, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, MFA Boston, Houston Center of Photography, MoCA Cleveland, and the Addison Gallery of American Art. Teaching is integral to Gottesman’s art practice, and he is a mentor in the Arab Documentary Photography Program in Beirut, Lebanon.
CHRISTINE SUN KIM (b.1980, Orange County, CA) is an American artist based in Berlin. Working predominantly in drawing, performance, and video, Kim’s practice considers how sound operates in society, deconstructing the politics of sound, and exploring oral languages as social currency. Musical notation, written language, American Sign Language (ASL), and the use of the body are all recurring elements in her work. She further uses sound to explore her own relationship to verbal languages and her environment. She is represented by François Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles and White Space Beijing in Beijing.
MUNA MALIK (b. 1993, Sanaa, Yemen) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work has been featured in such exhibits and publications as The New York Times, LA Times, Vogue, Annenberg Center for Photography, ICP and the MOCA Geffen. Using painting, sculpture, and photography, her work explores abstract forms, including elements of gesture and biomorphism influenced by Arabic and Somali thought, the idea of liberation through movement, and the notion of ‘identity formation’. Her work has also been exhibited at Northern Spark Arts Festival, MCAD, Artworks Chicago, and The Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
JOIRI MINAYA (b. 1990, New York, NY) is a Dominican-United Statesian NY-based multi-disciplinary artist. She attended the Escuela Nacional de Artes Visuales (DR), the Chavón School of Design, and Parsons the New School for Design. She has recently received a Jerome Hill Fellowship, a NY Artadia award and the BRIC’s Colene Brown Art Prize, as well as grants from foundations like Nancy Graves, Rema Hort Mann, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. She has participated in residencies at Skowhegan, Smack Mellon, Bronx Museum, Red Bull House of Art, LES Printshop, Socrates Sculpture Park, Art Omi, ISCP Vermont Studio Center, New Wave, and Silver Art Projects.
KOYOLTZINTLI MIRANDA-RIVADENEIRA (b. 1983, New York City, NY) is an interdisciplinary artist, plant worker and educator living in New York. She grew up in the coast of Ecuador and the Andes, geographies that permeate in her work. She focuses on geopoetics, ancestral technologies, ritual and storytelling through collaborative processes and personal narratives. Intersectional theories, and earth-based healing informs her practice. Nominated for Prix Pictet in 2019, her work has been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, the United Nations, Aperture Foundation, and the Photographic Museum of Humanity. She has received the Photographic Fellowship at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris and a NYFA Fellowship.
KAMBUI OLUJIMI (b. 1976, Brooklyn, NY) was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn and received his MFA from Columbia University in New York City. Olujimi’s work challenges established modes of thinking that commonly function as “inevitabilities.” This pursuit takes shape through interdisciplinary bodies of work spanning sculpture, installation, photography, writing, video and performance. His works have premiered nationally at The Sundance Film Festival, Studio Museum in Harlem, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Mass MoCA.
HANK WILLIS THOMAS (b. 1976, Plainfield, NJ) is a conceptual artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Solo exhibitions of his work have been featured at the Brooklyn Museum, NY, the Portland Art Museum, OR; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, among others. Thomas’ work is included in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum, and Brooklyn Museum.
MARIE WATT (b. 1967, Seattle, WA) is a citizen of the Seneca Nation with German-Scot ancestry. Her interdisciplinary work draws from history, biography, Iroquois protofeminism, and Indigenous teachings; in it, she explores the intersection of history, community, and storytelling. Through collaborative actions she instigates multigenerational conversations to create a lens for understanding connectedness to place, one another, and the universe. In 2016 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Willamette University. Selected collections include the Seattle Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Yale University Art Gallery, Crystal Bridges Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.
ABOUT THE WATERMILL CENTER
Founded in 1992 by avant-garde visionary Robert Wilson, The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities, supporting young and emerging artists through its year-round Artist Residency Program and International Summer Program, as well as Education Programs, exhibitions and events open to the public. The Center’s facilities enable Artists-in-Residence to integrate resources from the humanities and research from the sciences into contemporary artistic practice. The Watermill Center offers tours throughout the year of its 20,000+ square-foot building, which houses a library and a significant collection.