The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon Presents
"Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now"
PITTSBURGH—The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University presents "Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now," an exhibit that features hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio clips and ephemera that brings to life more than 40 years of activism, political protest and campaigns for social justice. Guest curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee, this important and timely exhibition, which runs from Jan. 23 through March 8, surveys the creative work of dozens of international social movements.
This exhibition presents the creative outpourings of social movements, such as those for civil rights and black power in the United States; democracy in China; anti-apartheid in Africa; squatting in Europe; environmental activism and women's rights internationally; and the global AIDS crisis. It also presents uprisings and protests, such as those for indigenous control of lands, those against airport construction in Japan and in support of radical social transformation in France. The exhibition also explores the development of powerful counter-cultures that evolve beyond traditional politics and create distinct aesthetics, life-styles and social organizations.
The exhibition will debut with a curators' talk, "Visualizing Social Movement Cultures," from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Jan. 23 in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center on the Carnegie Mellon campus. The lecture will be followed by an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Miller Gallery featuring live screen-printing and music by DJ Baglady. Both events are free and open to the public.
Although histories of political groups and counter-cultures have been written and political activist shows have been held, this exhibition is a groundbreaking attempt to chronicle the artistic and cultural production of these movements. "Signs of Change" offers a chance to see relatively unknown or rarely seen works, and is intended to not only provide a historical framework for contemporary activism, but also to serve as an inspiration for the present and the future.
Countries represented in "Signs of Change" include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bosnia, Brazil, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Croatia, Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia), Denmark, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.
Greenwald is a media artist and Ph.D. candidate in the Electronic Art Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her collaborative work often takes the form of video, writing and cultural organizing. She worked at the Video Data Bank from 1998 to 2005 and taught DIY exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2003 to 2005.
MacPhee is an artist, curator and activist currently living in Brooklyn, N.Y. His work often revolves around themes of radical politics, privatization and public space. His most recent book is "Reproduce & Revolt/Reproduce Y Rebélate" (Soft Skull Press, 2008, co-edited with Favianna Rodriguez). He also organizes the Celebrate People's History Poster Series and is part of the political art cooperative Justseeds.org.
The Miller Gallery is located in the Purnell Center for the Arts on Carnegie Mellon's campus. The gallery, free and open to the public, is open from noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Visit www.cmu.edu/millergallery for more information.
Above: "Assata Shakur is Welcome Here!," courtesy of Mary Patten