Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
September 17 – October 6, 2012
Opening reception and performances: September 21st, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The multi-media exhibition, Question for Revolution and Universal Brotherhood, is an examination and reinterpretation of the historical allegiances and projected intentions of socially engaged art of the 1930s WPA era. Responding to The New School's mural series by Jose Clemente Orozco—a leading member of the Mexican mural public art movement—the exhibition explores the performative potential of Orozco's mythology, including its represented subjects and historical context. Participating artists will create new works during the course of the exhibition, which will serve as a centerpiece and backdrop to a roster of performances.
Question for Revolution and Universal Brotherhood is a collaborative artistic and curatorial project by Parsons The New School for Design MFA Fine Arts candidates Lauren Denitzio (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘13), Isaac Richard Pool (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘13), and Jessica Posner (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘13). It deploys radical and feminist tactics across history, mythology, representation, and presence. Denitzio, Sara Jimenez (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ’13), and Cupid Ojala (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ’12) will organize the creation of a mural, which will be continuously rendered throughout the course of the exhibition by current and recently graduated Parsons students, including: Alicia DeBrincat (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘12), Lillian Handley (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘14), Cara Nahaul (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘14), Kaitlynn Redell (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘13), Chaney Trotter (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘13), and Ilyn Wong (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘13). In addition to the mural, a central sculpture by John Furer (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘13) translates an Orozco painting into an object of agency.
The exhibition also features a performance series that will explore three methods of performance as a means of pursuing alternative, utopist modes of being: occupation, consciousness raising, and historical redemption. As part of this series, Pool and Posner will embody the Greek mythological characters Dionysus and the Oracle. Additional performances (listed below) include contributions from David Geer, Sam Harmon, Sara Jimenez, Reena Katz (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘12), Shalini Sanjay Patel, Kaitlynn Redell, Colin Self, Joanna Spitzner, JIan Yi (Parsons MFA Fine Arts ‘14), and others.
The Orozco Murals at The New School were commissioned by the university in 1930 for its landmark building on West 12th Street, and include five major works: Science, Labor, and Art; Homecoming of the Worker of the New Day; Struggle in the Orient; Struggle in the Occident; and Table of Universal Brotherhood. The murals, inaugurated on January 19, 1931, initially met with negative reviews. The public debate that followed (in part due to the inclusion of Lenin and Stalin, as well as the depiction of an African-American seated at the head of the Table of Universal Brotherhood) drew some 20,000 visitors in the first few months. In the 1950’s, at the height of the McCarthy era, the New School administration elected to cover the portion of the panel depicting Lenin and Stalin with a yellow curtain. After vigorous student and faculty protests, the administration restored the murals to their original state. It is the only Orozco mural series in New York.
• Sept 21, 6-8 pm: Invocation and Historical Redemption, performance organized by Joanna Spitzner.
• Sept 22, 2-6 pm: Occupation with Dionysus and the Oracle, performance by Isaac Richard Pool, Jessica Posner, Sara Jimenez, and Kaitlynn Redell.
• Sept 28, 9 pm: Consciousness Raising Seance for Feminists. A skype seance co-performed with David Geer, Sam Harmon, Reena Katz, Shalini Sanjay Patel, Isaac Richard Pool, Jessica Posner, and guests.
• Sept 29, 2-6 pm: Occupation with Dionysus and the Oracle, performance by Isaac Richard Pool, Jessica Posner, and Colin Self.
• October 5, 7 pm: Whisper Translation, a long distance performance with Reena Katz and Jessica Posner.
• October 6, 2-6 pm: Occupation with Dionysus and the Oracle, performance by Isaac Richard Pool, Jessica Posner, and Jian Yi. BYOBachanalia closing party.
All performances will be video recorded and screened in the galleries.