The Gallery at the Kranzberg Arts Center, in partnership with the For Freedom’s Project, is pleased to announce the opening of “Cry of Victory and Short Walks to Freedom: Over you / you” on Thursday, October 11th, 2018. Featuring the work of Oscar Murillo, curated by Modou Dieng, the exhibition consists of over 150 placards, which become the basis for a protest in limbo within the gallery space. Placards are both practical and performative objects, and Murillo plays with these two uses within his installation.
The 50 State Initiative is a new phase of programming at the Gallery at the Kranzberg Arts Center taking place during the lead-up to the midterm elections. Building off of the existing artistic infrastructure in the United States, For Freedoms has developed a network of artists and institutional partners who will produce nationwide public art installations, exhibitions and local community dialogues in order to inject nuanced, artistic thinking into public discourse. Centered on the vital work of artists, the hope is that these exhibitions and related projects will model how arts institutions can become civic forums for action and discussion of values, place, and patriotism.
"The For Freedoms project, in conjunction with this exhibition, arrives at a time when our democracy is cutting funding for the arts at large, most damagingly in our schools. These actions are in total contradiction with our core values, so to speak — humanity, beauty and the freedom we are all entitled to" says curator Modou Dieng "While conceptualizing this project in St. Louis, I sought to find a foundation to build upon within the context of our current political climate. I set out to debate with the present state of affairs while still celebrating who we are as creators and mediators. Ultimately, I endeavored to introduce a conversational platform between the art we make and the freedom we seek. Because, after all, the act of doing and making is an act of this freedom. "About the Artist Oscar Murillo has created a visual language encompassing recurring elements and motifs; draped black canvases; metallic structures evoking autopsy tables; large-scale paintings composed of roughly sewn together fragments; studio dirt, dust and debris. These and other components play out across a wide range of media, including painting, video work, room-sized installations and actions.
All of the artist’s diverse works can be seen to constitute a sustained and evolving investigation of notions of community, informed by cross-cultural personal ties, as well as the constant transnational movement that has become integral to Murillo’s practice. Murillo was born in 1986 in La Paila, Colombia, and lives and works in various locations. He earned a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts at the University of Westminster in 2007 and an MA from the Royal College of Art, London in 2012. Murillo’s solo exhibitions include Haus der Kunst, Munich (2017-18), Yarat Contemporary Art Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan (2016-7); Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá; Centro Cultural Daoíz y Velarde, Madrid; Performa 15, New York and Artpace, San Antonio (all 2015); The Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2014) and South London Gallery (2013).
About Oscar Murillo’s Frequency
Oscar Murillo brings his "Frequencies" project to local schools. A collaboration with students aged ten to sixteen from schools across the globe, the project consists of temporarily affixing canvases to classroom desks; the students are not given any materials or instruction as to what they can and cannot do, thus allowing the canvas to register their daily endeavors and conscious and unconscious interventions. In this age group, Murillo perceives a certain amount of resistance to normative systems of thought, which he sees as a greater link to his own work and practice. By placing canvas on desks and leaving it for a prolonged period of time, the process of sedimentation that occurs not only captures the students’ thoughts and expressions but also chance interventions that are the product of external factors.
Frequencies has created a growing network between students from different schools and offers cross-cultural and social insights into youth communities participating in the project. The encyclopedic scope of the project consists of mapping out young students’ experiences across the globe.