Once Upon a Bx in Bring on the Reality show

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Bring in the Reality presents works in a variety of media that embody the rhetorical role of parrhesia: works that speak candidly, freely and boldly; works that “speak truth to power.” The title of the exhibition is taken from Cornel West’s 2014 book Black Prophetic Fire, in which he speaks to the enduring resonance of blues, jazz, hip-hop discourse and the writings of Malcolm X within the tradition of parrhesia, saying that with the civil rights leader, “It was always ‘bring in the funk, bring in the truth, bring in the reality.’”

Implicit in the exhibition is freedom of speech and the obligation to speak for the common good, often reflecting on the personal risk taken to do so through the construction of counter-narratives. Conjuring the burden not only of history, but also of our present moment, Bring in the Reality presents alternative voices as highlighted by portraiture, video documents, interactive data surveys, sculptural anecdotes, Second Life, archives, allegorical paintings, aphorisms and slogans.

In the face of enduring inequality, homelessness, racism and police brutality, these works highlight a commitment to social change through the ongoing relationship between art and politics. The exhibition includes works previously commissioned for or featured in NLE exhibitions, as well as interrelated works by NLE community artists. Curated by Rachel Gugelberger.

Location: Nathan Cummings Foundation, 475 Tenth Avenue, 14th Floor
Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 12, 6–8pm. RSVP required to attend: exhibits@nathancummings.org
Viewing Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am–4pm, by appointment only. To view the exhibition, please contact the Nathan Cummings Foundation at exhibits@nathancummings.org.