“Displacement: Symbols and Journeys” at CFAM this Summer

From May 21 – September 4, a new Cornell Fine Arts Museum exhibition will put a spotlight on geographical borders, deconstructing myths, and constructing new narratives.

Gajin Fujita, b. 1972
Demon Slayer, 2015
Spray paint, paint markers, mean streak, 12k white gold, 24k gold and platinum leaf on wood panels. Courtesy of the artist and L.A. Louver, Venice, CA
Gajin Fujita, b. 1972 Demon Slayer, 2015 Spray paint, paint markers, mean streak, 12k white gold, 24k gold and platinum leaf on wood panels. Courtesy of the artist and L.A. Louver, Venice, CA

In our contemporary society, the concept of borders as geographic demarcations with political and economic ramifications is evoked frequently.

Some of the artists in the upcoming Cornell Fine Arts Museum (CFAM) exhibition, such as Hugo Crosthwaite and David Taylor, make work that directly addresses the multifaceted and complex border region between the United States and Mexico, while others deal more broadly with issues of displacement.

Hugo Crosthwaite, b. 1971
Untitled (from Tijuanerias), 2012
Ink, wash, graphite, and white-out on Crescent board
Courtesy of the artist, Luis de Jesus Los Angeles, and Pierogi Gallery, NY
Hugo Crosthwaite, b. 1971 Untitled (from Tijuanerias), 2012 Ink, wash, graphite, and white-out on Crescent board Courtesy of the artist, Luis de Jesus Los Angeles, and Pierogi Gallery, NY No matter how tall or wide the physical barrier between the United States and Mexico grows, cultural influences will continue to migrate, permeate, and even ignore physical boundaries.

Beyond the United States and Mexico line, other borders and their political and economic influences shape societies and these perimeters can hinder the paths of tourists, immigrants, and most poignantly, refugees. The lines that are drawn between one nation and another can be reformed, the physical boundaries that are built can be traversed, and the creative ingenuity of artists who embody liminal spaces between multiple cultures cannot be denied.

The artists in the exhibition, like Gajin Fujita and Sandra Ramos, make more that relate distinctive cultural signs, symbols, and/or journeys. A number of works emphasize cultural colonialism and appropriation, while others address immigration, alienation, isolation, and hybridity.

Josué Pellot, b. 1979
Lady on a Horse (Barrio Obrero, Santurce, PR), 2009
Ink jet print
Courtesy of the artist
Josué Pellot, b. 1979 Lady on a Horse (Barrio Obrero, Santurce, PR), 2009 Ink jet print Courtesy of the artist “The notions of ethnic and cultural identity, borders and boundaries, and the sense of belonging brought forth by the exhibition are extremely timely in the election year; we are proud to explore them through artistic expression, and to highlight their importance in the context of our mission as a college art museum,” says Ena Heller, director of CFAM.

Inspired in part by the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, part of the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition looks at multiple manifestations of displacement.

“I wanted to create a show for our community that melds my interest in artistic movement across the Mexico and United States border, but that also provides a space to think about immigration and power of cultural symbols to usurp political boundaries,” says CFAM curator Amy Galpin. “The issues and themes related to this exhibition have been on my mind since I first began studying art, but as the 2016 U.S. presidential race gained momentum and the struggles of refugees from diverse places such as Syria and Central America became more apparent, I wanted to produce a show that provides space for contemplation and discussion about cultural hybridity and the human toll of migration.”

Shirin Neshat, b. 1957
My Beloved, 1995
Silver gelatin print and ink
The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College
Image courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels
Shirin Neshat, b. 1957 My Beloved, 1995 Silver gelatin print and ink The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College Image courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels Works from the permanent collection of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum will be accompanied by major loans. Artists in the exhibition include Shimon Attie, Rina Banerjee, Hugo Crosthwaite, José A. Figueroa, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Gajin Fujita, Meshac Gaba, Alfredo Jaar, Rima Jabbur, Richard Mosse, Shirin Neshat, Rubén Ortiz-Torres, Josué Pellot, Sandra Ramos, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, and David Taylor. New works not previously exhibited by Orlando-based artists Jabbur and Raimundi-Ortiz will be presented. A new installation by Arce-Espasas, based in New York, and Pellot, based in Chicago, will also debut with the opening of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a small publication that includes interviews with artists Hugo Crosthwaite, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, and Sandra Ramos, and an introductory essay by curator Amy Galpin.

Programs

May 20 | 6:30 p.m.
Lecture with artist Sandra Ramos

May 27 and August 26 | 11 a.m.
Tours with curator Amy Galpin

June 14 | 6 p.m.
Gallery talk with artists Rima Jabbur, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, and Leah Sandler

For more information about Displacement: Symbols and Journeys and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, visit rollins.edu/cfam.