Selected pages from "The Protest and The Recuperation"

Contemporary art has the capacity to focus our attention in a way that differs fromhow it is presented by various media sources or even perceived through our own experiences. Something profound is lacking and denied to us through mainstreamand commercial coverage. Drone photography regularly shows thousands or millions of people in the streets, providing important data points, but misses entirely the human intention and experience. On the other hand, selfies by participants share personal stories and feelings that flood the circuits. Awhole register is missing from these two extremes— that of people with people, images and experiences of working collectively for a common good, and the will of individuals joining together in their struggle against fraud, evil, and neglect and for health, tolerance, and a livable planet. This exhibition explores that gap and highlights the individual connections within the collective space of themass protest. The works on view in The Protest and The Recuperation were, broadly speaking, inspired bymass protests—as distinguished fromactivist art and activism, per se. Self- identified activists may work in small groups to develop an ideological position that propels them into the political scene. But what can be said for the aesthetics and the performativity, whether visual or gestural, that have become central to themany inspired protests in recent years? The ten artists represented in the exhibition align themselves with the commitment, creativity, and ingenuity of the protestors and reformulate their actions into art forms that, after the fact of the temporality of street actions, maintain

27 Betti -Sue Hertz

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