44 Signs of the Times

When 20 May 2021 - 23 Jul 2021
Where Mana Contemporary
888 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
United States

44 Signs of the Times is an exhibition of works of art that describe the strangeness of recent life. This exhibition is curated by Owen Duffy, Director of the Yeh Art Gallery at St. John’s University, and will be on view from May 20, 2021 until July 23, 2021. Rather than following a prescriptive or diagnostic approach, these 44 works of art – made before, during, and after 2020 – map pervasive and even sublime feelings of estrangement from reality as it once was. The exhibition’s 26 artists, and 1 artist duo, present works that function as a “sign” of the times: peeling apart and pointing toward the ineffable weirdness of a world, suspended and upside down. “This exhibition does not aspire to offer a diagnosis of what ails the times or a prescriptive cure,” states Duffy. “Rather it is a document, an incomplete picture of our world from within.”

The exhibition divides into seven porous sections that engage with themes related to recent events: spread, escape, precarity, languish, continuities, filtration, and acts of God. In SPREAD, the works of Trevor Paglen, Ann Veronica Janssens, and Martha Tuttle engage with the idea of particle spread at scales ranging from the digital to the galactic. ASMA, Alina Grasmann, Guo Hongwei, Jim Kuhlman, Kanad Chakrabarti, and Stella Zhong offer visions of how people have attempted ESCAPE from the tragedy and dullness of reality. PRECARITY emerges as a central feeling of the times, a balance between slipping away and holding on, and manifests in the work of Nikita Gale, Nick Irzyk, Sarah Pettitt, and Lee Relvas. 2020’s ongoing tide of inertia, that one is captured in a state of LANGUISH, is embodied by the work of Melissa Brown, Julie Malen, Mary Simpson, and Cynthia Talmadge. Yet 2020 was not wholly unprecedented, and the work of Azikiwe Mohammed, Kristen Sanders, and Renée Green suggest our present situation might hold long-standing CONTINUITIES with the past. Rafael Domenech, Mo Kong, Savannah Knoop, and Robert Scott Whipkey offer works that emphasize FILTRATION, be it of information or matter. And the omens of Antoine Catala, Myeongsoo Kim, Christine Egaña Navin identify with last year’s many ACTS OF GOD.

ASMA, Melissa Brown, Antoine Catala, Kanad Chakrabarti, Rafael Domenech, Nikita Gale, Alina Grasmann, Renée Green, Guo Hongwei, Nick Irzyk, Ann Veronica Janssens, Myeongsoo Kim, Mo Kong, Savannah Knoop, Jim Kuhlman, Julie Malen, Azikiwe Mohammed, Christine Egaña Navin, Trevor Paglen, Sarah Pettitt, Lee Relvas, Kristen Sanders, Mary Simpson, Cynthia Talmadge, Martha Tuttle, Robert Scott Whipkey, and Stella Zhong

For more information please click here.
Image courtesy of the event organizer.