Literary critic and philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin described the concept of the carnival as a subversive, disruptive, world-upside- down event in which the hypocrisy of everyday life was unmasked. During carnival, social structures including those that defined class and status were disrupted by common people. In Currency: What do you value?, artists turn assumptions upside down to re-examine our relationship to money and how we live our lives.
The exhibition brings together national, international and local artists who engage with these themes through a variety of media and artistic approaches. The core of the exhibition features 15 lead artists and collectives. Within the exhibition, two special projects bring in larger groups of artists from New Mexico and around the world. In Debtfair New Mexico, the collective Occupy Museums continues their ongoing intervention that began at Art League Houston and appeared at the Whitney Biennial in 2017. The teamed up with 516 ARTS to put out a an open call to New Mexico artists asking how debt affects them and their art. They used the data they collected to explore the real impacts of debt at a time when U.S. credit card debt alone is over one trillion dollars. The installation features the data and artwork of 97 New Mexico artists who responded to an open call, creating a visual and financial portrait of New Mexico artists.
Featured artists include:
Leonard Fresquez, Evan Desmond Yee, Mel Chin, Christy Chow, Jennifer Dalton, Nina Elder, Ramiro Gomez & David Feldman, Hernan Gomez Chavez, Scott Greene, Keith Hale, Erika Harrsch, Steve Lambert, Lance Ryan McGoldrick and Yoshiko Shimano.