The Decline of Rationality in American Politics
In the seventies, feminist artist Miriam Schapiro challenged the distinction between high art and craft art. Historically craft art had been associated with “women’s work.” As of late, men too have been equally involved in this revolution. El Anatsui, Faig Ahmed, Gabriel Dawe, Nick Cave, and the duo Chiachio and Giannone use embroidery, bottle caps, sound machines, weaving, and carpets, abdicating their traditional roles as only painters. Art is more than oil paintings on canvas or the sculpture you back into when looking at these oil paintings.
Hillary Clinton got 2.9 million more votes than the current President of the United States and metaphorically speaking that was 2.9 million cracks in the glass ceiling. Aurora Molina, in her new show, Los Caprichos, The Decline of Rationality in American Politics, suggests we crack that ceiling even further, imagining a world where two African American women are President and Vice President. In the past, she has dealt with despots and dictators utilizing fiber for narratives. Fiber art in the hands of the artist punctuates that the viewer must be the final vote in the Electoral College. Using thread as both a tactile and symbolic medium Molina creates dialogues between old and new. The ancient practice of communicating through textiles continues in her works. The artist constructs rich complex and often subversive narratives. Like Goya’s Los Caprichos, Molina comments on American politics and we recognize ourselves, friends, and politicians in these satirical scenes made with embroidery. Molina greets her audience at the entrance of the gallery with the candidates who ran in 2017, and the two candidates (neither of which has agreed to run) that she would like to see hold high office in American politics.
In a time of urgent global challenges, our quest for religious freedom, free speech, coexistence, and other core democratic values are being denied. These core values are intrinsic to what makes America a haven for those oppressed by other regimes and governments across the globe.
Let us fight to keep the United States a place that embraces all people with open arms, and continue to have American citizens that recognize the value of having a country that is founded and thrives on open-mindedness, acceptance, and diversity.