You Are Now Entering _______
Alfredo Jaar, Amy Yao, Carey Young, Carlos Garaicoa, Carlos Noronha Feio, Inbal Abergil, Locky Morris, Miguel Martin, Roman Ondák
2 – 28 June 2012
Curated by Miguel Amado
You Are Now Entering_____ presents works by a diverse set of established and emerging artists from around the world, including participants from Northern Ireland. Artists in the exhibition are Inbal Abergil; Chen Chieh-jen; Carlos Garaicoa; Shilpa Gupta; Alfredo Jaar; Kiluanji Kia Henda; Miguel Martin; Locky Morris; Carlos Noronha Feio; Roman Ondák; Amy Yao; Carey Young; and Carla Zaccagnini. The show is curated by Miguel Amado and draws on his ongoing research into the imagination of Northern Ireland that has been carried out through an experimental curatorial residency with CCA Derry~Londonderry.
You Are Now Entering_____ analyses the conflict society that marks current times. The conflict society emerged from perpetual war, the political logic of late capitalism. In this circumstance, new formations of sovereignty develop by transcending the rule of law in the name of public good, thus establishing a state of exception in both foreign relations and the homeland that challenges the status of citizenship. Strife is no longer characterised exclusively by military engagement; it encapsulates more and more other situations of disruption, including urban violence, migratory fluxes and mass protest. In the conflict society unrest is global: from the streets of London to Tahrir Square in Cairo; from the U.S.-Mexico border to the waters of the Mediterranean Sea; and from the Syrian Desert to the mountains of Afghanistan.
The title of this show is borrowed from the slogan that signals the Free Derry Corner, a square in the Bogside neighbourhood of the city that symbolizes opposition to British rule in Northern Ireland. However, by eluding the words “Free Derry”, it also refers to the original expression: “You Are Now Entering Free Berkeley”. This catchphrase appeared on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley within a free-speech campaign at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Furthermore, by bearing an unfilled blank, it suggests that this statement has resonance elsewhere. It is through such allegorical impulse that the Northern Irish context is approached in the exhibition, as the works on view evoke or allude to themes that have local significance yet speak to universal subjects.
You Are Now Entering_____ addresses the visual culture of the conflict society by considering key issues of discord across multiple contentious histories and uneven geographies. The featured artists investigate the iconography of dissent by examining the aesthetic potential of the archetypical signs of antagonism: monuments; shrines; murals; flags; walls; and checkpoints. The selected works also survey the ideological landscape in which they manifest themselves: imperialist enterprises; nationalist claims; and revolutionary traditions, including tactics of resistance to sovereignty and strategies of community empowerment against security policies.