Opening reception : Thursday, January 19, 2023 ‑ 5 pm
At Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop's University
Curator: Matthew Kyba
Opening at Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University : January 20, 2023, 5 pm
Artists: Patrice Renee Washington, Sean Weisgerber, GTA Collective (Kika Thorne, Jane Hutton, Sameer Farooq, Adrian Blackwell), Shellie Zhang, Chester Toye, and TJ Shin
Finishing at Sporobole: March 10, 2023, 5 pm
Artist: Kosisochukwu Nnebe
Presented in association with Foreman Art Gallery, What is the Value of a Dollar? invites 7 artists and collectives to examine how profit-driven entities have historically exploited and dominated societies, communities, and bodies. Using video, installation, photography, and painting, the exhibition enfolds complex matrices of racial politics, socio-economic (dis)parity, and political agency to argue that North American economies not only exist, but flourish through marginalizing their own consumers and workforce. Capitalist frameworks feed off of subjugated bodies to reinforce economically productive hierarchies of race, culture, gender, and affluence. The exhibition’s title questions how monetary capital is traded and valued against ethical, cultural, and physical sacrifice. Included works employ capitalistic visual language, which acts in protest against market-based economies. Research-based approaches are utilized to historically map capitalism’s reliance on the communities it targets and marginalizes. What is the Value of a Dollar? argues that there cannot be ethical consumption and production under capitalism, and offers ways to reclaim agency by co-opting corporate tactics and language historically used to disenfranchise.
I want you to know that I am hiding something from you is the first part of a two-part installation first created by Nigerian-Canadian artist Kosisochukwu Nnebe in 2019. Playing on ideas from feminist standpoint theory, here, within the space of the installation, as in society, what is seen and unseen is dictated by one’s positionality. In order to truly understand the piece, the observer must subject themselves to the kind of objectification totally inextricable from commodification, that was and remains foundational to the racial capitalist system that reached its apotheosis with the transatlantic slave trade – and in the wake of which we are still living. Undergirding the work are references to the figure of the trickster in West African folklore. For the artist, the trickster offers an understanding of Black subjectivity that, in its opacity and rootedness in non-western ways of being, remained and remains unbreakable and impenetrable.
Legend and photo credit : Kosisochukwu Nnebe, I want you to know that I am hiding something from you, installation view, AXENEO7. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Justin Wonnacott