Curated by Quentin Gibeau
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Virtual Artists’ Reception from 5-6 pm | Ongoing through February 25, 2022
Featuring: Gabriel Amadi-Emina, Louisa Armbrust, Jac Bennett, Esie Cheng, Peter Cullen, Danielle Damico, Ed Holten, Jodi Hoover, David Joo, Traci Lee, Viveca Licata, George Lorio, Rebecca Marimutu, Charles Mason III, Sarah McCann, Elizabeth Miller, Laura Noel, Hannah Rivers, Rey Sagcal, Alli Smith, Fanni Somogyi, Tempris Tennille, Kelci Tillman, Nechama Topper, Charlie Visconage, Ann Walsh, and Marcia Wolfson Ray
Notre Dame of Maryland University
4701 North Charles Street
Fourier Hall, 2nd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21210
Curated by Quentin Gibeau, “Laid Bare” takes its name from a March 2020 meme. Featuring an electron microscope image of a virus, the text reads, “Nice country you’ve got there, would be a shame if I laid bare the cruelty inherent in its very structure.”
In the midst of recent societal upheavals – from the COVID-19 pandemic, to the climate crisis, to increasing political division, to the decentralization of information and the prevalence of conspiracy theories – apocalyptic thinking has become pervasive. While the world has not ended, the threat has felt real. But apocalypse, by its original Greek definition, means a revelation. What new world might be revealed, as the world we once knew ceases to exist? Is there a better world we can build out of this one?
Other great schisms fundamentally altered the societies in which they took place by reacting to similar cruelties. The Black Death effectively set the stage for the end of feudalism and planted the seeds of the renaissance. The Great Depression ushered in the New Deal, and a subsequent era of American prosperity. These moments were also met with fear, radicalization, and a growing sense of inevitable conflict. With a mainstream acceptance of mutual aid and essential workers demanding better conditions, with then as with now we’ve also seen mass distrust, acceptance of disinformation, religious persecution and sectarianism, and normalization of violence in policy and practicality.
“Laid Bare” asks artists and viewers alike to take the lessons of these revelations both public and personal and draw inspiration from the push and pull of apocalyptic times and utopian possibilities. Some works reflect on our shared periods of deep isolation. Some address growing climate anxiety through imagined and plausible science fictions. Some invert the male gaze back onto the viewer. Other artists reflect these ideas through the experience of migration, both in humanity and nature. Others turn to their personal moments of healing and strength that allowed them to maintain resiliency. Still others chose to represent staring into the void, and its gaze returned.Learn More + Register