Greece in USA Founder and Curator, Dr. Sozita Goudouna. Photo: Courtesy of Greece in USA
NEW YORK – Greece in USA launches the second iteration of its program for the internationalization of Greek Culture in the USA. The group exhibition The Right to Breathe, running July 14-October 8 at Undercurrent, 70 John Street in Brooklyn, takes as a starting point the “shortness of breath” derived from the experience of political pressure, social injustice, and economic austerity, exploring its connection with poetics, live art, and embodied politics. The concerns driving the “I Can’t Breathe” debates around race, discrimination, and violence have been left unchallenged for far too long. At the same time, the countless social injustices, and the politics of disposability that the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare expose the delusions of a post-racial society, as well as the deprivation of the universal right to breathe (see Achille Mbembe). The topic of breathability that the exhibition identifies and aims to historicize also provides an insight into the ongoing revaluation of criminal justice reform.
The exhibition at Undercurrent.nyc is in dialogue with The Right to Silence? at Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay School of Criminal Justice (CUNY). Drawing from the 5th Amendment Right, the exhibition features pieces by visual and performing artists that attempt to uncover the profound and complex sense of silence that characterizes the prison industrial complex. The pieces investigate whether art and aesthetics can break the silence about crucial political issues such as mass incarceration and criminal justice reform.
Artwork by Stefania Strouza on view in the Greece in USA group exhibition The Right to Breathe, running July 14-October 8 at Undercurrent in Brooklyn. Photo: Courtesy of Greece in USA
Invocations: Retracing Seneca at Seneca Village Central Park
Complementing The Right to Silence? Invocations: Retracing Seneca is a participatory walk that took place on May 14, 2021, paying homage to Seneca Village, conceived by artists Kimiyo Bremer and Karen Finley and curated by Sozita Goudouna. Seneca Village was a community made up of some 300 people. A majority of Seneca Village was composed of African American residents, many of whom owned their own homes. Seneca was also populated by Irish and German immigrants who lived side by side as neighbors. The community was prosperous with three churches, a school, a garden, many streets and a center. From 1853-1857, the city used eminent domain and police force to destroy and brutally demolish Seneca Village for the development of Central Park. The planned landscape of Central Park would create some of the most expensive real estate in the world, all of which we see today. The Seneca residents were forced to disperse with little archives maintained by the city to preserve this remarkable hamlet from the pre-Civil War era. In our walk we will invoke ritual and retrace steps while offering recognition of these historic New Yorkers. We welcome you to conjure remembrance and sing spirit together, offer fellowship; to proclaim and honor as our way of giving respect.
Artwork by Elias Kafouros on view in the Greece in USA group exhibition The Right to Breathe, running July 14-October 8 at Undercurrent in Brooklyn. Photo: Courtesy of Greece in USA
The projects take place in the context of Greece in USA, a New York City-based organization that promotes Greek culture in the United States. Founded by Dr. Sozita Goudouna, Greece in USA launched under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture, with the group exhibition The Right to Silence? on the issue of criminal justice reform. The first iteration is presented at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) until July 31, 2021 with the participation of 43 Greek and Cypriot artists, while the second parallel program was launched on May 14, 2021, at Seneca Village and at undercurrent.nyc with the group exhibition The Right to Breathe with the participation of 100 Greek artists running on July 14- October 8.
Artwork by Ilias Papailiakis on view in the Greece in USA group exhibition The Right to Breathe, running July 14-October 8 at Undercurrent in Brooklyn. Photo: Courtesy of Greece in USA
Curation: Dr. Sozita Goudouna
Production: Greece in USA
Production Associate: Eva Kostopoulou
Greece in USA Associates: Odette Kouzou & Antigoni Papadopoulou
Out of the Box Intermedia was founded in 2008 in London and Athens and produces projects with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, the European Cultural Foundation, the British Council, the French Institute, NEON Foundation, and the Onassis Foundation.
Under the Auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture.
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