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Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment

January 30

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every month that begins at 12:00 am on day First of the month, repeating until May 9, 2021 12:00 am

Climate Changing foregrounds contemporary artists’ engagement with social issues and shaping institutions—an engagement that’s all the more critical during the entwined health crises of systemic racism and COVID-19. Together the works in the exhibition ask: how can we collectively create a climate for change?

Designed as a forum to test ideas about what an arts institution could be, the Wex is uniquely positioned to act as a platform for these investigations. In that spirit, Climate Changing will restage a work commissioned for the center’s inaugural year: Chris Burden’s Wexner Castle (1990). By adding battlements to the brick sections of the building’s deconstructivist design (a reference to the Armory that once stood on its site), the late artist’s work offers a launchpad for questions pertinent to today’s social and political climate:

Is the museum a fortress to protect “precious” cultural objects or is it a platform for producing new ones?
If the purpose of museums is to provide and produce spaces for culture—and by extension act as arbiters of value—how can they forge pathways toward ethical awareness and foster active, equitable participation in shaping those values?
What are artists’ roles within institutions, communities, and culture?
Whom do museums serve?
Shared among the exhibiting artists is a use of criticism as a generative tool to reorient one’s position relative to unjust systems, structures, and effects of power—and to reenvision how these establishments and infrastructures might operate. The artists in Climate Changing deal with a range of matters such as mass incarceration; global warming; labor, debt, and economic inequality; colonization; racism; education and democracy; and ableism. By presenting projects that span multiple themes and frameworks, the exhibition emphasizes the power of intersectionality and interdependence and encourages a collective reimagining of our social environment.

Climate Changing features nine commissioned works, including Bird and Lava, a 2020–21 Wexner Center Artist Residency Award project by Torkwase Dyson. Alongside her new body of work in the galleries, Dyson’s project has a website the artist created during lockdown that has served as a repository for sketches, animations, and her thinking about historical and contemporary Black liberation strategies by those working in and against hostile and inhospitable environs.

Free members, college students (with valid ID), patrons under 18, active military, and veterans
$9 general public
$7 seniors (65 and older), Ohio State faculty and staff (with BuckID)

Tickets for this event can be reserved by members beginning January 25.
Tickets go on sale to the public on January 27.

Jan 30, 2021 – May 09, 2021

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Wexner Center for the Arts
1871 N High St
Columbus, 43210 United States
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