Last night was the opening reception at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Gelman Gallery for the show entitled “do you think I care.” Curated by Austin Ballard and Yuki Kawae, their hard work and effort resulted in an eclectic collection of pieces as well as media represented. Congratulations Yuki and Austin, it was an amazing turnout!
It is a rhetorical question that not only evokes a sense of power and confidence, but can also leave the speaker in a vulnerable state. It is a question spoken by someone who more than cares, they hope their actions and act of questioning will create a considerable impact. There exist numerous individuals, both past and present, which have dared to speak with such attitude and commitment. Acrobat Phillip Dejon, space explore Elon Musk, activist Rosa Parks, composer Ludwig van Beethoven, and even musician Kanye West has all in some way become an emblem for the root of this question… do you think I care?
This exhibition takes a look at some of the artists currently working in Providence, whom might be asking this very same question to their viewers. Made up of artists across a wide array of disciplines from both RISD and Brown University, each has devoted a part of their practice to creating an environment by which the viewer must confront the works head on.
The works present investigate the precarious and the powerful in an attempt to create a dialogue between these two seemingly dialectical concepts. The question posed by the title is meant to draw connections between possible notions of ego, confidence, and strength along side the precarious, vulnerable and the unstable. This idea can be interpreted in a variety of ways; as an allegory for the condition of a government, the subversive act of a person, or simply how you see an object or image communicating.
Some exist in the form of small protests or subtle forms of transgression, while others are louder, direct, and more confrontational. Issues presented by the artists range from military prowess and expansion, to the construction and destruction of stereotypes, to social and political injustices and the alteration of traditions. The works are as diverse as the artist that are included, but that being said, each work becomes an individual call to action. Whatever the size of medium, each work maintains a strong voice, and more importantly an unapologetic attitude.
Curators: Austin Ballard MFA Sculpture ’12, Yuki Kawae MIA ‘13