Imagined Communities, Nationalism & Violence
The show includes works by Jon Henry, Yael Malka, Myeongsoo Kim, Pacifico Silano, Maggie Shannon, Minstrel Kuik, Carlos Jiménez Cahua, Catalina Ouyang, Hank Willis Thomas, Res, Vincent Bezuidenhout, Farideh Sakhaeifar, Lionel Cruet, Hong-An Truong & Huong Ngo.
Benedict Anderson’s seminal text “Imagined Communities” investigates the origins of Nationalism as a modern condition and serves as the starting point for our group exhibition. From the influence of rationalist secularism to the conception of homogenous, empty time, Anderson outlines the convergence of factors which led to nationhood as a vehicle for the creation of meaning and ultimately self-sacrifice.
As Nationalism is revitalized through increasingly extreme rhetoric whether it is nativism or protectionism, the exhibition explores this new wave of anxiety around nation-hood and ways nation-ness is constructed. Whether it is through the oblique nature of our informational channels which function as echo chambers reminiscent of the earliest ways Nationalism spread through print media or the conflation of meaning with sacrifice, it is clear that there are precedents for how Nationalism as a construct has led to and sustained cycles of violence.