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McEwen opens exhibition at New York Gallery P!

An exhibit featuring the work of Assistant Professor of Architecture Mitch McEwen is being displayed at New York gallery P!. Professor McEwen’s practice A(n) Office, in collaboration with art collective HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?, designed the exhibition which uses the gallery itself as a medium that extends into the street.

The exhibition begins with Post-Speculation, Act I. For eleven days, the art collective HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? will occupy P! in order to launch thewayblackmachine.net, an internet archive of activism around black embodiment inspired by The Wayback Machine (web.archive.org). The collective addresses contemporary conditions such as police brutality, American-funded international violence, and the ways that memes and hashtags collapse and make legible such threats to personhood.

Act I will feature multiple screens, projections, black walls, and void space. Through performances and architectural maquettes, multiple operations are modeled on and for the House Opera | Opera House, a found/acquired house in Detroit that places art at the center of the community and offers community members a space to create.

In an interview on the exhibition, McEwen said, "[T]he basic principle was to turn the gallery itself into a machine, which would launch the wayblackmachine, an internet-based project of the HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? arts collective. So the piece wants to exist both online as a website but also wants to be presented in a gallery. We wanted to turn the gallery itself into a display mechanism. This included a rear projection pointed out into the street, as well as a grid of screens, displaying excerpts from media coverage and twitter dialogues. So you walk into the space feeling overwhelmed. While the space itself is entirely black, when it starts operating it becomes a screen that you can inhabit."

The exhibition runs from September 1 to November 8. Visit the gallery website for more information.

Sep 10, 2014


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