press release

MIAMI – The Art of Aggression, an exhibition that focuses on political and corporate aggression with work by nine internationally known artists including: Wayne Gonzales, Emily Jacir, Mark Lombardi, An-My Lê, Dominic McGill, Mary Ellen Mark, Steve Mumford, Josh On & Futurefarmers, Martha Rosler, and Moises Saman will open at The Moore Space on Thursday, April 14 from 7-10pm (through July 1, 2005). Curated by Jean Crutchfield and Robert Hobbs, the exhibition is on view at the Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Virginia until March 12, 2005.

Even though aggression has become a major characteristic of recent preemptive corporate, terrorist, and national conflicts, its assumptions and effectiveness are being hotly debated in red and blue states as well as across the globe where winning the peace by waging war is viewed as a rallying cry and a contested issue. Weighing in on this topic, the work in this exhibition is political without being partisan, emphasizing the very human face of these hostilities. At the same time that the artists in this exhibition examine pertinent aspects of the United States’ recent participation in two Iraqi wars, they also question the role their work can play in supporting or undermining any aggressive offensive. Underlying its creativity is the ongoing question: is the work of art motivated by facts or fables, the truth or a postmodern staging of it according to the prevailing codes of understanding. The word “art’ in the exhibition’s title refers to (1) the skill employed in administering a specific technique, including the waging of political and military attacks and (2) the aesthetics involved in qualitatively representing aspects the human condition. This exhibition intends to convey the range of work now being made as a reaction to the U.S.’s participation in two Iraq wars.

During his ten-and-a-half month stay in Iraq, Steve Mumford created on-the-spot illustrations of actual events that he witnessed. Mark Lombardi’s constellations of political, military and business interests that document the flow of moneys in the international arena in general and in particular money laundering and covert action in the Golden Triangle. New Zealand-born Josh On & Futurefarmers’ anti-war video game against terrorism and website entitled They Rule that presents overlapping affiliations of the board members of major corporations. Palestinian-born Emily Jacir’s enumeration of U.S. presidential hopeful’s statements that underscore this country’s unilateral approach toward Israel. Vietnamese-born An-My Lê’s chronicles of war in the form of elaborate rehearsals for battle undertaken by U.S. Marines in California’s Mojave Desert in anticipation of fighting in Iraq and “living history” performances, which were cast, directed, and then played by Vietnam war re-enactors in Virginia’s and North Carolina’s pine forests. Viewing aggression as a mixture of fact and fiction in his drawing of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Dominic McGill takes a wide-angled look at some conspiracy theories that have arisen over JFK’s assassination. Wayne Gonzales solemnizes the current American war effort as an enigmatic icon in his haunting painting, which was conceived in terms of pixels and rasters. It depicts an aerial view of the U.S. Pentagon that leaves viewers wondering if it is intended as a trademark of an aggressive era or a terrorist target. Tracing the human wreckage of aggressive assaults in the Middle East, documentary photographer Moises Saman confounds viewers with the appalling beauties of widespread devastation and suffering. * Martha Rosler straddles the disconnect between the comforts of home and the horrors of war in her photomontages of mass-media imagery, while photographer Mary Ellen Mark chronicles war’s enduring scars in an intimate portrait of an Iraqi war veteran.

Jean Crutchfield Born in Cairo, Egypt, Crutchfield, Formerly director of Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot in Paris and has curated exhibitions Diana Cooper, Gregory Crewdson, Presumed Innocence, Matthew McCaslin, Monique Prieto, and Yoko Ono Her shows on Crewdson and Prieto were the first museum showings of these artists’ works.

Robert Hobbs Hobbs interest in the Middle East stems from his appointment as Chief Curator of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary art in Iran, 1978. Hobbs has served as the U.S. Commissioner and curator for the 1982 Venice Biennale His retrospective Robert Smithson: Sculpture at the Whitney Museum of American Art was the first on this artist as was the Mark Lombardi exhibition, which has just closed at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and will soon open at the Milwaukee Museum of Art.

The Art of Aggression: Iraqi Stories and Other Tales

Künstler: Wayne Gonzales, Emily Jacir, Mark Lombardi, An-My Le, Dominic McGill, Mary Ellen Mark, Steve Mumford, Josh On & Futurefarmers , Martha Rosler, Moises Saman