Art is an effective form of expression that has been used for centuries to create social change and help resolve issues of social justice. It has been used as a means to create a voice for those who may not have one. It has been used as a way to create emotion, illicit reaction and create action. It has been used to challenge many of society’s deepest assumptions, and to spark new ideas and encourage new actions. During today’s tough political times, we have found ourselves turning to art for both inspiration and for solace. For example, In What It Means to be an Artist in the Time of Trump, 21 such artists express their hopes, goal and advice to fellow activists.
On the recommendation of a friend, last weekend we went to an art gallery in Chelsea who is using their voice to express discontent. Petzel Gallery in Chelsea typically has their art shows planned out many months in advance. This January, the team at Petzel felt like the upcoming inauguration couldn’t go unrecognized. After days of deliberation, they postponed their regularly scheduled program and quickly strategized on a response to the November elections. The resulting poignant ‘We Need to Talk’… program is divided into two parts. As you enter the space, the first room is set up as a space where visitors can write their thoughts, anxieties, reactions, and hopes as a sort of homage to the 14th St Post it wall (shown below).
The viewer is then led into a screening room where short clips and vignettes are streamed that in some way tackle todays issues. Anyone can send in a submission, (*see instructions below) which will be added to the loop and screened both in the gallery and on the website. We will be sending some short video clips from our experience at next weekends Women’s March in DC!
Finally, you are led into the main space where many reputable artists** have prepared their “responses” to the election. The pieces all make a bold statement. Regardless of how you feel about our new regime, the exhibit is thought provoking, interactive and worth an afternoon of exploration.
Petzel Gallery is located at 456 W. 18th Street – near 10th Ave and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-6pm.
Make a day of it! Stop in to some of the other galleries in the area. Take a walk on the High Line – you can enter right across the street from the gallery. Stop in at our favorite concept shop Story on 19th Street and have a bite to eat in one of the markets in either Chelsea Market or at Cookshop on 20th St. Have a cocktail or a hot cocoa at the High Line Hotel on 10th and 21st. There are so many great things to do in that neighborhood.
*Beginning January 1st, 2017: please send submitted video files titled “January2017” as downloadable links via WeTransfer, Dropbox, or Vimeo to firstname.lastname@example.org. If uploading via Vimeo, please ensure the video is downloadable and can be added to collections. Work should be up to 5 minutes in duration, with a max file size of 2GB, one submission per sender. Submissions will close January 31st. Petzel Gallery reserves the right to omit videos with offensive content.
**At time of press: Yael Bartana, Judith Bernstein, Andrea Bowers, Troy Brauntuch, AA Bronson, Cecily Brown, Paul Chan, Mark Dion, Sam Durant, Charles Gaines, Rainer Ganahl, Hans Haacke, Rachel Harrison, Dana Hoey, Jenny Holzer, Jonathan Horowitz, Josh Kline, Barbara Kruger, Sean Landers, Louise Lawler, Glenn Ligon, Robert Longo, Allan McCollum, Adam McEwen, Sarah Morris, Joyce Pensato, Stephen Prina, Raha Raissnia, Peter Saul, Dana Schutz, Amy Sillman, Gary Simmons, Dirk Skreber, Slavs and Tatars, Henry Taylor, Andrew Tider/Jeff Greenspan, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Meg Webster