Art is Protest

Art is Protest: Staten Island, July 17th 2014, Nino Vichan
Art is Protest: Staten Island, July 17th 2014, Nino Vichan

In Art is Protest, open now at Rubin Mayo’s Trésor de l’Art, we are invited to view exhibits by SL artist Nino Vichan and RL artist Basu Kshitiz.

Nino’s installation, reached via a large entryway to one side of the landing area, entitled Staten Island, July 17th 2014, is an examination of the events of July 17th, 2014, in which African American Eric Garner met his death at the hands of officers from the New York City Police Department, and the events which followed in the wake of his death.

Art is Protest: Staten Island, July 17th 2014, Nino Vichan
Art is Protest: Staten Island, July 17th 2014, Nino Vichan

The installation is presented in a 3-part narrative. I Can’t Breathe (a reference to a phrase repeatedly uttered by Eric Garner), presents  the events of July 17th, 2014, and the death of Mr. Garner. Black Lives Matter recalls the widespread civil unrest which occurred across the United States in late 2014 after a grand jury decided not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the officer perhaps most directly involved in Mr. Garner’s death. Finally, Violence Begets Violence causes us to reflect upon the events of December 20th, 2014,  when Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley shot and killed Brooklyn police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Lui as a direct response to Mr, Garner’s death and the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting of Michael Brown on August 9th, 2014. Brinsley himself then committed suicide.

This is perhaps not the most comfortable of installations to visit – but that’s precisely the point; in marking the anniversary of an event which still has repercussions today, Nino is challenging us not only to revisit and consider the matters of Mr. Garner’s death and the events which then followed, but also to question the issue of violence as a whole.

Art is Protest:  Basu Kshitiz
Art is Protest: Basu Kshitiz

The route through the three scenes of Staten Island, July 17th 2014 will return you to the landing area, which features a display of work by artist and political commentator Basu Kshitiz.

Nepal is a country riven not only by earthquakes, as we so recently witnessed, but also by extreme poverty (it is 145th of 187 countries on the Human Development Index) and much more besides. Since the end of the decade-long civil war in 2008, the country has also been in a state of political turmoil, with rampant corruption in both government and business.

Art is Protest: Basu Kshitiz
Art is Protest: Basu Kshitiz

Basu’s work, which appears in annapurapost.com, the on-line portal for the Annapura Post, a daily newspaper in Nepali language, seeks to drawn attention to political corruption and social injustices which continue to deny many in his country with the basic essentials of water, healthcare, education and energy.

Art is Protest will remain open through to September.

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