AUGUST 4- SEPTEMBER 30, 2018
For Becoming Amercian—Gretchen Frances Bennett will create a new work.
From the exhibition website: Exploring how artists engage the ongoing challenges of American iconography, identity, history, and formal inheritances, Becoming American is an international group exhibition taking place on the grounds of the American and English camps on San Juan Island, WA, and satellite venues in the city of Seattle.
The exhibition ranges from commissions responsive to the layered dynamics of the primary venue—including the park’s history as a traditional home to Coastal Salish people, the location of the last territorial dispute between the United States and Great Britain, its imminent proximity to Canada, and exceptional natural beauty—to works across media that delve into and question the perhaps permanently contested, never-to-be-resolved nature of the larger understanding of the Americas.
Literal and conceptual borders alike are pushed via moving image, painting, sculpture, photography, textile, and sound and performance works that open up the provocation and prompt of the exhibition’s title to multiple readings. Animating the architecture of extant buildings—comprised of preserved storehouse, barracks, blockhouse and hospital structures, Becoming American extends its reach into group and solo presentations in Seattle to create a call and response between rural and urban contexts.
With immersive installations and key historical works presented alongside artist texts and performative gesture, the exhibition underscores an ongoing inquiry and transitive approach to themes of race, gender, place, and cultural heritage embedded within the larger practices of contributing artists. Actively rehearsing, analyzing, and playing with ideological stances and narrative, the works on view encourage audiences to engage and reflect upon the uneasy imaginary of what it means to strive toward becoming American today. —FM