November 19, 2020 - Wexner Center for the Arts - Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment
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November 19, 2020

Wexner Center for the Arts

[1] Chris Burden, Wexner Castle, 1990/2020. Addition of crenels and merlons to existing Peter Eisenman designed museum building. © Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [2] View of Baseera Khan, snake skin at Simone Subal Gallery, New York, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist and Simone Subal Gallery, New York. Photo: Dario Lasagni. [3] Carolyn Lazard, Pain Scale, 2019. Vinyl. 6 parts, each 12 × 12 in. Courtesy of the artist and ESSEX STREET, New York. [4] Jibade-Khalil Huffman, We Don't Need Another Mural (still), 2019/2020. Multi-channel video with color, sound. 22:52 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist and Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Angeles.

Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment
January 30, 2021

Wexner Center for the Arts
1871 N. High Street
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio 43210
USA

wexarts.org
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The Wexner Center for the Arts is delighted to announce Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment, a major group exhibition opening January 30, 2021Originally scheduled to debut in May of 2020 as the conclusion to the Wex’s 30th anniversary season, the exhibition was postponed due to the pandemic. Climate Changing foregrounds contemporary artists’ engagement with social issues and shaping institutions—an engagement that’s all the more critical during the entwined health crises of systemic racism and COVID-19.

Climate Changing gathers a multigenerational group of over 20 artists who contend with social matters and structural injustices, using a work that alters the structure of the institution itself as a launch point. Chris Burden’s architectural intervention Wexner Castle (1990), commissioned during the center’s inaugural year of exhibitions, has been recreated for the exhibition. Burden crenellated the brick sections on the façade of the center’s post-modern architecture, designed by Peter Eisenman, making more palpable the reference to the Ohio State Armory that formerly stood on the same site. Wexner Castle is on view now ahead of the rest of the exhibition, which will present additional work outdoors and in the lower lobby as well as occupying all of the center’s galleries. Burden’s work will remain installed through the early summer of 2021, in commemoration of the year that would have marked the late artist’s 75th birthday.

The exhibition’s curator, Lucy I. Zimmerman, questions how artists play a vital role in reinterpreting and recasting institutional paradigms amid today’s tumultuous climate. Is the museum a fortress or castle to protect “precious” cultural objects, or is it a platform for producing new ones? If the purpose of a museum is to provide and produce a space for culture—and by extension, serve as an arbiter of value—how can it forge pathways towards ethical awareness and foster active, equitable participation in shaping those values? What are artists’ roles within museums, communities, and culture? And whom do museums serve?

Climate Changing is not an exhaustive survey of any or every societal issue, nor is it intent on declaring that the scope of topics covered in this exhibition are the most significant subjects of our time. Instead, through the presentation of works that span multiple themes and frameworks, this exhibition emphasizes the power of intersectionality and interdependence, and encourages a collective reimagining of our social environment.

Reaffirming the Wex’s mission to support the process and creation of work, Climate Changing will feature new commissions from nine artists, with a number of them adapting and expanding upon existing projects. Among these is Torkwase Dyson’s Bird and Lava, supported by a 2020–21 Wexner Center Artist Residency Award.

Participating Artists
*commissioned

Chris Burden; a project by Abraham Cruzvillegas with Tony Ball, Brianna Gluszak, Aaron Peters, Akeylah Wellington, and Bradley Weyandt*; Demian DinéYazhi´*; Torkwase Dyson*; Futurefarmers*; Jibade-Khalil Huffman*; Dave Hullfish Bailey*; Danielle Julian Norton*; Baseera Khan*; Carolyn Lazard; Park McArthur; Pope.L; Raqs Media Collective; Related Tactics*; Jacolby Satterwhite; Sable Elyse Smith; Constantina Zavitsanos.

A robust, illustrated gallery guide will accompany the exhibition, featuring an essay by Zimmerman and commissioned and previously unpublished writings from Pope.LDemian DinéYazhi´Jibade-Khalil Huffman, and Park McArthur and Constantina Zavitsanos. Excerpts from a roundtable discussion with an advisory committee created for Climate Changing will also be included in the guide. The interdisciplinary committee includes Dan DiPiero, Erica Levin, Margaret Price, Maurice Stevens, and Lucille Toth.

This exhibition is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts and curated by Lucy I. Zimmerman, Associate Curator of Exhibitions.

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