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04 Nov 2011

apexart: The Walls That Divide Us

Gisele Amantea, Barbed Wire (Berlin, 1961) 2010

Curated by Miguel Amado
Opening Wednesday, November 9, 6-8pm


Opening Reception:
Wednesday, November 9: 6-8 pm

Artist/Curator Talk:
Friday, November 11: 6:30 pm

On view through December 22, 2011 Tuesday-Saturday 11-6



291 Church Street
New York, NY 10013

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The Walls That Divide Us

Gisele Amantea, Kader Attia, Carolina Caycedo, Chen Chieh-jen, Sam Durant, Leor Grady, Ivan Grubanov, Shilpa Gupta, Alfredo Jaar, Emily Jacir, Runo Lagomarsino, Teresa Margolles, Locky Morris, Carlos Motta, Ahmet Öğüt, Anna Ostoya, Amalia Pica, Rigo 23

Opening Reception: Wednesday, November 9: 6-8 pm
Artist/Curator Talk: Friday, November 11: 6:30 pm

In the early 1990s, Western-style liberal democracies appeared as the archetypal form of government from which a peacekeeping transnational power would emerge. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the end of the Cold War inaugurated what one hoped was an era without conflict. However, on the fiftieth anniversary of that fortification, strife is spreading worldwide. From the U.S.-Mexico frontier to Jerusalem, more and more barbed wired fences and checkpoints are being assembled, splitting communities and creating areas of exclusion. The construction of the Berlin Wall, rather than its demise, is the historical moment that encapsulates the current state of affairs. The organizing principle of present times is not the free circulation of individuals but the walls that divide them.

'The Walls That Divide Us' addresses the proliferation of state and city separation barriers across the globe as symbols of dissent in contemporary politics. Featured artists examine the ideology of wall building as a means of segregating populations to establish sovereignty in uneven geographies. The works in the show draw attention to the material, normative, and cultural function of barricading in zones of conflict today and the social injustice that it generates. They comment on the establishment of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Iron Curtain, the Israeli-Palestinian question, the violence in Ciudad Juárez, and the migration crisis in the Mediterranean region. They also explore phenomena such as imperialistic enterprises and contested territories, security policies and border control, revolutionary movement and mass protest.

This exhibition is supported in part by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.