Opening Reception: Friday, March 24, 6–8pm
Artists’ tour: Saturday, March 25, 12pm
Exhibition: March 25 – June 3, 2017
Art in General
Ground Floor Gallery
145 Plymouth Street (Map)
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Hours: Tue-Sat 12-6pm
Art in General presents a newly commissioned installation by Postcommodity, marking the collective’s first solo exhibition in New York. Composed of artists Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist, Postcommodity’s multidisciplinary practice reveals and examines Indigenous cultural narratives and their relationships to broader social, political, and economic dialogues and actions. For the exhibition Coyotaje, Postcommodity continues its several years-long investigation of the military and economic life of the US-Mexico borderlands, highlighting the complex dynamics between US Border Patrol, the communities living in the San Pedro River Valley region, and individuals moving across the border. This exhibition is curated by Kristen Chappa and made possible through Art in General’s New Commissions Program. It is included in a season-long exploration of the politics related to geographic boundaries and the histories, possession, and accessibility of land.
As part of the project, Postcommodity engaged the US Border Patrol in a dialogue on the role of decoys in its offensive and defensive operations. Decoys are sometimes used by Border Patrol agents to apprehend individuals trying to cross the border, to push passage in specific directions, and to discourage migration into the United States. Given that many individuals encounter decoys in darkness, they have become shrouded in mythology, taking on auras and personas drawn from local folklore and oral traditions. Coyotaje will feature large-scale sculpture inspired by these conversations and Postcommodity’s intimate knowledge of the Douglas/Agua Prieta landscape, as well as a multi-channel sound work that references sonic decoys used by border agents. Conceived as potentially functional decoys, the works highlight the peculiar nature of these forms, as they represent both the tactical needs of agents and the cultural manifestations of those who encounter them.
Moving the conversation on border security beyond simplistic, mass-oriented appeals, Coyotaje instead examines the real-life experiences of those living and moving near and around the border. Postcommodity’s work breaks down some of the arbitrary and falsely-created barriers among peoples of this region, and looks to establish new constructs that speak more readily to the social, geographic, and cultural histories of these borderlands.
Postcommodity was formed in 2007. The collective is comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist, and has previously included other artists living in the Southwestern United States. Postcommodity has presented work across the United States and around the world, including Australia, Belgium, and Canada. In 2015, Postcommodity installed the much-acclaimed public work Repellent Fence at the US-Mexico border near Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, SON, marking the creation of one of the largest public art installations by two nations. Postcommodity is also featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and documenta 14.
NEW YORK MAGAZINE. Is Political Art the Only Art That Matters Now? Swanson, Carl. (17 April 2017). Read Online
BOMB. Artists in Conversation. Goyanes, Rob. (14 April 2017). Read Online
THE NEW YORKER. Goings on About Town. (14 April 2017). Read Online
ARTFORUM. Critics’ Picks: Postcommodity, Art in General. Brewer Ball, Katherine (7 April 2017). Read Online
ARTSLANT. Postcommodity’s Latest Installation Confronts Viewers with Fears at the U.S. Border. Smalls, Zachary (4 April 2017). Read Online
ARTNET. Editors Picks: 9 Things to See in New York This Week. Cascone, Sarah (20 March 2017). Read Online
ARTNEWS. 9 Art Events to Attend in New York City This Week (20 March 2017). Read Online
ARTSY. For Artists, the U.S.-Mexico Border Is Fertile Territory. Stromberg, Matt. (7 March 2017). Read Online
PAVE Communications & Consulting
Sascha Freudenheim and Alina Sumajin
Art in General was founded in 1981 and supports the production of new work by local and international artists primarily through its New Commissions Program and its International Collaborations program. Art in General also produces an annual symposium What Now? on critical and timely issues in artistic and curatorial practice.
General Support of Art in General is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
The New Commissions Program is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; Ruth Ivor Foundation; and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation. Support has also been provided by: Commissioners’ Circle leaders Elaine Goldman, Richard Massey, Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporters John and Andrea Nylund and David Solo; and Commissioners’ Circle members Nader Ansary, Rob Colangelo, Don Erenberg, Taymour Grahne, Roya Khadjavi-Heidari, Mary Lapides, Eric Nylund, Leslie Ruff, Steve Shane, and Diana Wege.
The New Commissions program provides in-depth support for eight to ten artists each year, for the creation of major new works, including the financial, logistical, promotional, and presentation assistance necessary to bring these works to new audiences world-wide.
Special project support kindly provided by Supreme Digital, Brooklyn.
The What Now? Symposium, and accompanying book series from 2015-2017, is generously supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-10-14-0304-14).