In this post-truth cultural moment, with a generational mentality of “inaction is the wise action,” Truth or Dare is no longer a party game but an emergency wakeup call. With politics as (un)usual, global climate crisis worsening, inequality and violence overpowering morality and compassion, we’ve hit rock bottom. It is time to change the trajectory, to tell the real truth, to dare ourselves and take action.
As artists, we place ourselves under the spotlight of Truth and Dare, we choose to disrupt and evolve the status quo. At the dusk of 2010’s and the dawn of 2020’s, we will share our most vulnerable truth and reveal our most daring expression through a two-part exhibition.
Truth opens in December 2019, Mercury 20 Gallery artists will present a formal exhibition of small, intimate works. Dare opens in January 2020, the same group of artists will take on the challenge of an unconventional installation consisting of larger, more ambitious works.
Truth, echoing the Spandau Ballet’s song lyrics “Oh, I want the truth to be said, I know this much is true,” Mercury 20 Gallery artists share their vulnerable expressions on a deeper level. From a personal to a global perspective, each reveals the truth of their art. Participating artists include:
Pantea Karimi is exhibiting variously-sized Hybrid Volvelles (2015, detail above right) that mix and match Persian, Arab and European scientific images and information with the aim to construct historical knowledge of various cultural points of view into one form and to highlight the truth of a long-term exchange of ideas across cultures.
Jill McLennan will exhibit clay portraits of a variety of buildings in Oakland including a historic Art Deco building, an ordinary old apartment complex, a homemade house, and the automobile dealership that was recently torn down on the corner of Broadway and 23rd Street. McLennan’s art documents the evolution of the Bay Area and the truth of what once existed.
The High Stakes Divination Cards (2019) play with the powers of suggestion using the resonance of image and text as a form of prediction. The oracles are selected from Johanna Poethig’s paintings, sculptures, photographs and scavenged from multiple sources. Symbols open up doors of time, place, personal and universal myth making and storytelling in our search for truths about our lives. This is a multi-dimensional work of conceptual, mystical and participatory art that changes shape with every reading.