Jan 23rd 2020

States of Democracy Artists
Mia Adams
Hina Barlas
Yasmina Chavez
Jake Dockins
Lindsay Garcia
Martin Krafft
Michael Marks
Ashanti McGee
Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
Kelley O’Brien

Juried by David Sanchez Burr, Danielle Kelly and Rebecca Goldberg
Curated by David Sanchez Burr

Crucial to the success of democracy stand the challenges of equal representation, justice and human rights. Progress towards these goals can be fragile and recent election cycles have created salient evidence that deep regressions in democratic systems are warnings we must take seriously.

Driven to explore states of democracy, poignant artworks are effective vehicles through which we encourage discourse and provide opportunities to critique, examine and reflect on the impact democracy has on our lives. The Artists chosen for this exhibit all brought to bear interesting interpretations through which we can think of democracy.

The exhibit focuses on a variety of subjects that help form a broad representation of democracy. The work in this exhibition was selected for its potential as a collective of work capable of transmitting experiences, interpretations, situations and language associated with a laundry list of socio-political issues present in society. Each artist brings forth a valuable perspective and the cumulative effect of viewing their work makes one more aware of a distinctly convoluted state of democracy. The intent of the exhibit is to pierce through the mediated and prescribed notions of ourselves and find patient reflection on how to address the challenges ahead.


Borderstasis by Guillermo Gómez Peña 1998 compliments the work of States of Democracy and is exhibited at the Albright Gallery, the video is on loan from the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. If there are counter-culture super/anti heroes, Guillermo Gómez Peña certainly would stand among them. Borderstasis is a compilation of video performances that stab right through the facade of perceived notions of border culture, the American north and south, stereotypes and confrontations of race, ethnicity, culture, language, and politics. In tandem with States of Democracy, “Borderstasis” completes the journey through the gallery spaces. Gómez-Peña gives alternative and often maligned communities and lifestyles (“the others”) hope and the ammunition to stand up for each other and for anyone else that hasn’t found the itinerant, placeless, and ephemeral communities they have always belonged to.

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