SPACES Opens Sadly Timely Shows About Guns in America

Fri 8/16 @ 6-9PM

“We’d rather live in a peaceful society than present such timely exhibitions” was the title of an email sent out by SPACES just eight days before the opening of their latest group of three shows, two of which explicitly deal with gun violence and Americans’ attitudes about guns.

 Both the group show, America’s Well-Armed Militias, and the complementary video piece, CockSure, by Accra Shepp look at how guns have impacted life in America.

America’s Well-Armed Militias features the work of six artists, four from Cleveland, one from Chicago and one based in Columbus. These newly commissioned works look at different groups of people throughout American history who have armed themselves and why, exploring how different groups have regarded the Second Amendment and how it’s been viewed different based on who is arming themselves.

Matthew Deibel looks at “stand your ground” laws; Michelle Graves at firearms in schools. Dante Rodriguez addresses U.S./Mexico border militias, while Darius Steward’s contribution deals with Black Panthers, Jared Thorne’s with gangs and Nikki Woods’ with Westward expansion.

Meanwhile, NYC artist Shepp asks similar questions in his multi-channel experimental film, looking at gun owners, why they choose to own the guns they do, and how they use them.

Also opening is an experimental opera, Century of Progress/Sleep, by SPACES artist-in-residence from Chicago Paul Catanese. His work “reflects on the environmental, spiritual, and cultural consequences of mischaracterizations of science, lawless theories of knowledge, and epistemological chaos.” During his residency he’s working with both local musicians and non-musicians to continue developing the work in progress, an installation with elements of performance.

The show open with a free public reception, with the artists in attendance, Fri 8/16 @ 6-9pm. They remain on view through Fri 9/27.


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