ARTIST TALK led by Harvard professor Alicia Ely Yamin
KUNSTHALL 3,14 and BERGEN EXHAGNGES
Across the USA, indigenous peoples and immigrants suffer high rates of assault, abduction, and murder. A silent crisis is transpiring in the state of Montana, where thousands of indigenous people are missing. Especially young women are disappearing or being found murdered. The cases often go unsolved, leaving grieving families to investigate on their own. Native American and Alaska Native community advocates describe the crisis as a legacy of generations of government policies of forced removal, land seizures and violence. In Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, thousands of unidentified border crossers have been discovered, but no one knows the number of bodies populating the desert sand. The exhibition law of the land challenges the modern idea of the nation-state in which law is thought of as a natural extension of territory. It demonstrates how ‘equality before the law’ fails to provide the same legal protection for all individuals sharing a land, and how the “Law of our Land'' causes danger to migrants and minorities. Brian Maguire reacts to this violence by memorializing the victims and sharing their fates with the public. His investment in social activism stems from his involvement in the civil rights movement of Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Since the beginning of his artistic career, Maguire has approached painting as an act of solidarity.
Alicia Ely Yamin (Harvard University) will lead the conversation with the artist.