06 September - 03 October 2006
Curated by Jeffrey Uslip and Simon Preston
"A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new; when an age ends; and when the soul of a nation long suppressed finds utterance..."
Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
Thomas Dane Gallery is pleased to present Civil Restitutions, a group exhibition of 12 inter-generational American artists proposing a reclamation of civil liberties and socio-political mores within recent US history. Through its conceptual matrix, Civil Restitutions celebrates emancipated forms that strive for restorations in the body, landscape and urban conditions.
The practices in Civil Restitutions hinge on material subversion and present new constructions of otherness: Mary Kelly's use of compressed lint becomes a platform to unpack trauma; Maria Nazor's fusion of indelible cartographic and organic marks manifest what Jameson expressed as "... an imperative to grow new organs"; David Wojnarowicz' seminal photograph Untitled (Face In Dirt) complicates the legibility of a bodily excavation; Kelley Walker's application of scanned toothpaste and silk-screened chocolate fetishizes a queering of history; William Pope.L's use of rotting produce critiques the perishable center; Michael Queenland's depiction of impoverished magic ilustrates racial binaries in America; Jimmie Durham's totemic structure points towards the essentialism of the American Frontier; Daniel Joseph Martinez' subversion of text and poured white house paint invokes notions of piracy and questions reactionary politics in America; Ken Gonzales-Day's contemporary portrait of a tree in California, used to lynch Latinos in the 19th Century, reclaims a pastoral redemption; Leslie Hewitt's use of Alex Haley's Roots brings forward questions of circulation and manipulates fictionalized cultural history as raw material; Ana Mendieta's use of hosiery shifts the female body into fugitive status and David Hammons' depiction of the spade interrogates stereotypes of black masculinity and of hyper-sexualized deviance.