Allison Hewitt Ward Reviews Revolution from Without... for Spike Art Magazine

“Revolution from Without…”

The 8thFloor

17.01. – 04.05.2019

By Allison Hewitt Ward

Political art comes in and out of fashion at a dizzying pace. It was trending in the moments before and after the 2016 US election and has fallen out of focus since. But as we approach a referendum on Trump in 2020, it’s coming into style again. The Rubin Foundation’s space for contemporary art, The 8thFloor, is ahead of the curve, launching what is sure to be the first of many politically-themed shows in the coming months. 

“Revolution from Without…” features work by Tania Bruguera, Tony Cokes, Chto Delat, Raqs Media Collective, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Dread Scott, and Mark Wallinger. It covers several themes: borders, immigration, language, free speech, and race. The art-works’ oscillating configurations around these categories make for an exhibition that struggles to find a coherent footing. But for this it can hardly be blamed; such is left-wing politics today: a catalogue of tenuously linked progressive issues. The show may not be revolutionary, but it mirrors the confusion of today’ s so-called revolutionary politics. 

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Dread Scott,  Imagine a World Without America , 2006.

Dread Scott, Imagine a World Without America, 2006.

Anjuli Nanda