Project Room

Heads Will Roll

Sarah Fritchey, Martha Willette Lewis

February 20—May 2, 2015


Heads Will Roll

Political Satire in Portraiture and Landscape

L’amour: plus fort que la haine.(Love is stronger than hate). -Charlie Hebdo, 2011

This group show was organized and juried by Artspace curators Sarah Fritchey and Martha Willette Lewis in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, the free press world-wide, and those who work to keep the tradition of political satire alive In New Haven.

The selected works use satire to wage humorous and critical commentaries on current world powers, political trends, and personalities. Through satire, the artists push the viewer to reinterpret and/or misinterpret familiar agents of power.  They take on a range of subjects and issues specific to US public policy: including the debate over women serving on front-line combat positions, the lingering effects of George W. Bush’s presidency, our detached relationship to drone warfare, and dictatorships such as that of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, among others.

Over the past decade, aggressions against our fundamental right to free speech and self-expression have become increasingly overt and waged from all sides.  Most recently, on January 8, 2015, religious extremists killed twelve French artists and journalists in their offices.  On November 24, 2014, hackers, allegedly at the behest of a hostile foreign government, broke into Sony’s computer networks, leaking thousands of documents with the intent to shut down a Hollywood movie. During the 2014 winter Olympic, Cossacks in Sochi beat the feminist artist collective Pussy Riot while the world watched on live television.  And the attacks continue.  This exhibition visually responds to such bullying, and firmly reinforces our conviction that the pencil is mightier than any weapon, and we will not be silenced.

Within the visual arts, satire is part of a tradition deeply connected to the history of art, illustration, bookmaking, and protest, from Hogarth (1697-1764) and Goya (1746-1828), to Grosz (1893-1959) and Dix (1891-1969), to Peter Saul (b. 1934). More recently, the masters of satire craft personas on T.V.—think Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report, and Tina Fey’s interpretation of Sarah Palin.

Artists Include: Michael Angelo Caci, Robert Brush, Robert DiMatteo, Eric J. Garcia, Guerilla Girls Broadband, Varese Layzer, Linda Lindroth, Katrina Majkut, Elizabeth McClellan, Adam Niklewicz, Jason Noushin, John O’Donnell, Andre Rubin, Ruth Sack, Jerry Saladyga, Kim Salander, Richard Smolinski, Sooo-z, David K. Thompson, Glenn Tramantano, and Jave Yoshimoto.