In the newly envisioned “tactical space” of the Mercury 20 Gallery artists ask how our understanding of creative labor shifted in the currents of the present political crisis in America? How does resistance add to our understanding of creative and cultural production? What is tactical innovation in the intuitive realm of art making?
Artists Nick Dong, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Ruth Tabancay, KC Rosenberg, Kerry Vander Meer, and Johanna Poethig tackle these questions in an exhibit that experiments with visual concepts of creative resistance. Nick Dong’s “Voodoo for the Greater Good” invites the public to cast a spell on Donald Trump’s administration by writing a message, chanting and nailing it to his orange silhouette. For Earthday, Ruth Tabancay’s “Decompose” offers a solution to toxic plastics by inventing a life form that will devour it. Kerry Vander Meer’s “The Plaque Series” investigates the vanishing amphibian and the renmants of a dying species. Poethig satirizes our addiction to oil and consumption in her Guzzler series of paintings and presents her 2050 Calendar that pictures a futurist “Sub-Colonial” wearing a breathing, smoking and drinking mask. Ratcliff’s historic military helmet sculpture “Hold Harmless” is a memorial to a friend and veteran of the Vietnam war so relevant again as American military action escalates across the globe. In a time of increasing hostility to women, KC Rosenberg’s poignant tracing of her young son’s body with the Superman emblem and found trophies “Worth Preserving” questions the raising sons, to be destructive forces or humane “It’s like a death to mothers, a realization that even if we put all the super duper care into you, you could still be this destructive asshole.”