Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Anxious (les inquiets)

"The Anxious: Five Artists Under the Pressure of War," is a small exhibition on view now at the Pompidou Center. The show displays work by five, younger generation artists, (i.e. under 45), who have lived with, or are still living under the threats and pressures of war and instability, and choose to deal with these issues in their work. Photography and video are the mediums of choice--for a variety of reasons I imagine...documentation, a closer reality, a medium that reaches far and wide and is reproducible. In any event, the artists include, Yael Bartana, Omer Fast, Rabih Mroue, Ahlam Shilbli and Akram Zaatari. Politics in art is a difficult subject to navigate without being pedagogic, documentary or just totally dry. Some of the work on view leans towards that direction, but it is an ambitious and informative exhibition and it is important to give proper notice to this genre of art which is developing more, for obvious reasons, and as such filling in gaps in the global contemporary art world. I think in Europe they are more on the mark with presenting these types of exhibitions, then in the US, and one can only hope that will change soon. www.centrepompidou.fr

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