I Am Here
Exhibition Dates / September 24 - January 22, 2021
Opening Event / September 24, 2021, 5 - 8 p.m.
Closing Event / January 14, 2021, 5 - 8 p.m.
“Above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that's why I made works of art.” — Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Taking its cues from a text-based artwork by the visual storyteller Ashley Hairston Doughty, I Am Here invites us to think about what it means to use art as a vehicle for personal narratives. What stories do artists choose to tell about themselves, and who is invited to talk?
This group exhibition will feature works on loan by Claudia DeMonte, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Carla Jay Harris, and Heidi Rider, as well as new additions to the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art collection by Catherine Angel, Tomoko Daido, DeMonte, Chase McCurdy, Krystal Ramirez, Lance L. Smith, and more. Other work from the collection will include painting, photography, sculpture, and installation by Doughty, Justin Favela, Clarity Haynes, Brent Holmes, and Mikayla Whitmore. Harris' artwork was developed in collaboration with historian Dr. Brenda Stevenson.
Populating the wall labels with quotes from artists talking about their lives, I Am Here breaks with the practice of interpreting art through the writings of curators and brings the artists’ voices to the forefront. Together, their evocation of “here” ranges from a physical place with institutions and jobs (“I love Las Vegas and all the people who fought for my family to be here and to live a healthy and prosperous life” - Krystal Ramirez) to a state of mind. (“There are those moments, admittedly, a lot of the time when I’m making the work, where I feel as though I’m somewhere else and I’m transported elsewhere” - Chase McCurdy.)
I Am Here contains strong language, images of breast cancer scar tissue, and historical images of racist advertising and racist language.