By Jack Deese
A thousand tomorrows, the Atlanta Biennial, showing at Atlanta Contemporary January 17- to April 7, 2019, showcases the work of 20 artists all working in the southeastern United States. The show was a dual effort of curating by Phillip March Jones, Curator-at-Large at Institute 193, Lexington, KY, and Daniel Fuller, Curator, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA. A thousand tomorrows seems acutely concerned with the here and now. The works, which include visual arts, television, music, and sound, have a sheen of freshness that prioritize the present and reinforce the idea that the best way to prepare for tomorrow is to have a good handle on today.
I look forward to the opening of Louder than Words at the Zuckerman Museum of Art, curated by Theresa Bramlette Reeves. Bringing together 17 artists, including Yoko Ono, Nick Cave, and John Cage, the work in Louder than Words looks to the communication often muted, mistranslated, or intentionally overlooked. In a time when information is so readily available, having your attention drawn to these gaps of communication is a welcome sight. Louder than Words opens February 2 and runs through May 5, 2019.
The Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University has brought the show DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance by Dr. Fahamu Pecou. Originally shown at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at The College of Charleston, this show is a collaboration between the two schools. On view are Pecou’s photographs, large-scale paintings, drawings, and videos that survey intersections between African-based spiritual traditions and the political and societal violence against black male bodies in the United States. Visible Man, the accompanying catalog, expands on these themes and their context within Pecou’s oeuvre and is available at the museum bookshop. DO or DIE is on view from January 19 through April 28, 2019.
Of course, the Atlanta exhibition seeing the most foot traffic is Yayoi Kusama: INFINITY MIRRORS on view now through February 17, 2019, at the High Museum of Art. Tickets to the show have long been sold out, but the museum does sell 100 walk-up tickets on a first come, first serve basis (the line usually forms hours before the box office opens). Fingers crossed, there is a High Museum Parking Lot documentary in the works.
Last, I would be remiss if I did not comment on the recent success of two Atlanta-based artists, Krista Clark and William Downs. Both Clark and Downs were 2018 recipients of the Atlanta Artadia Awards; each will receive an unrestricted sum of $10,000. While there is no guaranteed exhibition accompanying the award, I believe both artists will use this as an opportunity to expand on their already intriguing work. Look for both to keep us excited as the year moves forward. To see their work, visit kristaclark.com and williamedowns.com, respectively.
Jack Deese (b.1986) is an artist and writer born and based in small-town Georgia. He received a MFA in Photography from Georgia State University in 2016. His artwork has been exhibited nationally, and his writing has been featured in Burnaway and Yield Magazine. He currently teaches at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga and you can see more of his work at jackdeese.com.