How do artists stand up for what they believe in? With the rise of right-wing politics in the U.S. and Europe, people across all seven continents have felt a renewed urgency to fight for civil liberties. Though the pundits and politicians may have changed since the 1960s, many of the same issues are at stake. Now, in 2017, there are new channels with which to express dissent—easily shared on the screens, but rarely expressed by museums. As visual protests take shape internationally, they rely on the power of unity. Here are a few initiatives to keep an eye on.
Jenkins Johnson Gallery, 464 Sutter St, San Francisco
Through March 11, 2017
This exhibition compresses time and space to address current concerns about civil rights. One of the earliest works on view, Gordon Park’s 1963 photograph of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech shows the National Mall flooded with protesters. More recently, in Chicago, Carlos Javier Ortiz’s provides an account on urban life and gun violence. The exhibition also includes several paintings and non-documentary photographs, such as Aida Muluneh’s contemporary take on African body art.