The Louisville Visual Art Association announces In the Course of Human Events 9/11-2011, August 18–September 13, 2011, a major exhibition reflecting on the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the ways that we visualize the world in its aftermath. Viewed by billions of people across the globe, the attacks on the World Trade Center towers may be the most documented disaster in human history, yet, ten years later, the episode is under-represented in cultural discourse and in the field of visual art.
Featuring works by thirty local and regional artists, and in a range of mediums and production dates, the exhibition includes artwork created prior to 9/11, immediately following the attacks, and throughout the last ten years. The works in this exhibition explore the disaster’s far-reaching and seemingly unending affect on global consciousness. As Curator Aron Conaway acknowledges, “I hope the exhibit will offer new insights to thinking about 9/11 and its influence on how the course of human history has been steered over the last decade. The unfolding narrative of the last ten years has had, and will continue to have, a monumental affect on the lives of every American citizen at every socio-economic and cultural level. It is my hope that this collection of work brings forth a variety of thoughts and ideas to demystify the rhetoric of the unified and often biased media messages received by Americans in the course of the last ten years.
There are myriad questions that remain unaddressed and continuing calls for attention to these issues by high-ranking government and military officials, as well as, by millions of citizens have left this sharp turn in America’s history unresolved. We must revisit the moments when we first saw these astounding images and stories, the chants of, “United We Stand”, consider our path onward, and reconstruct our own perspective through this perilous time in our shared history.”
Shannon Westerman, Executive Director of LVAA (and former resident of New York City, living 1.5 miles from World Trade Center site) was witness to the unfolding events on the day of September 11, 2001, suggests, “ This is not an ordinary art exhibition nor memorial, only. The show provides a framework (beyond the news media, Federal and religious leaders’ sound bites) from which within Kentucky and Indiana residents may reflect and explore the impact of 9/11 on their lives. Moreover, In the Course of Human Events also serves to answer the classic question of ‘what art is for?’ by demonstrating how art – together, with religion, politics, commerce and philosophy – helps all of us translate complex cultural and emotional issues through various visual mediums.”
Immediately following the attacks, artists, like all Americans, were fixated on the television. For days, weeks and months the human eye was subject to images of unimagined horrors that stimulated profound confusion as well as acts of heroism by ordinary humans that sparked desire
for increased connectivity between disparate cultures. In the Course of Human Events chronicles how visual artists from Kentucky and beyond expressed their grief, confusion, anger and hope. Out of context, many of the exhibit offerings may seem to have nothing to do with 9/11. Yet, to grasp the cultural meaning of the works, one needs to know the communal spirit in which the art was produced. Artists see the world through a different lens, and whether their art in this exhibition was created with fiber, paint, clay or film, many shared the need to express personal interpretations and responses by not utilizing images of the World Trade Center site in their work. For some artists, creation of new work represented an outlet of escape. For others, it provided a venue to address grief, spirituality, sadness and hope.
In the Course of Human Events 9/11–2011
Louisville Visual Art Asscociation
3005 River Road, Louisville, KY 40207
Exhibition dates: August 18–September 13, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday, August 18, 5PM-8PM
Looking Back – A Day of Remembrance: Sunday, September 11, 1PM-5PM Programming to include live performances, film-showings and ephemeral artwork in memory of
September 11, 2001. Free and open to the public, all ages.
Food for Thought Luncheon and Lecture
Presentation by Aron Conaway, Curator and LVAA OPEN DOORS Program Manager
Tuesday, September 13, Noon–1:30PM
Reservations required; $15 member/$20 non-member contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 502.896.2146 x100