Opening Reception: Saturday, June 20 from 6pm to 11pm
The Fridge presents Hipster Fascism, a multidisciplinary art and performance exhibition curated by DC-based artist and activist Graham Boyle.
- Eames Armstrong
- Gregg Deal
- Ryan Florig
- Falon Shackleford
- Ashley Shey
- Ra Nubi
- Shirin Towfiq
Boyle’s exhibition examines widening social, economic, and environmental cracks in American society due to its incorporation of concepts and policies intrinsic to the political ideology of Fascism. This environment is reinforced by hipster lifestyle choices such as a consumption-driven form of personal identity, relocation to urban centers and associated commercial development and subsequent displacement, believing we live in a “Post-Racial America,” and the appropriation of authentic cultures through speech, dress, behavior and purchasing preferences.
The exhibition is driven by a manifesto, rooted in human rights concerns such as community displacement, economic disparity, discrimination, police militarization and mass incarceration and government corruption. The artists also strive to create alternatives to fascism through the subversion of its dominant symbols.
The exhibition is at once self-conscious, expansive and revelatory. The DC, MD and NYC-based, internationally recognized artists selected to participate present works that are striking, thought provoking and sometimes tongue-in-cheek while avoiding the nihilistic pitfalls of Hipster Irony. The space will be transformed through paintings on canvas and on the gallery walls, prints on metal, multiple video installations, sculptural fashion objects, participatory games and more.
Media used is a symbolic reflection of these themes. Collaborative works contributed by Ryan Florig and ADAPT include a businessman’s suit composed of construction site banners proclaiming the coming of luxury condos that will be placed on exhibit as well as used to create a series of videos exploring the formation of identity and the influence of capitalism in urban development. Internationally renowned artist GAIA will present works deconstructing the relationships between nation states and their imported labor forces that are scapegoated through Xenophobia when they migrate to their new homelands, a contemporary reflection of the same manipulative forces of historic Fascism. Shirin Towfiq’s work focuses on women’s Reproductive rights and the unnecessary intervention of patriarchal forces.
Boyle says, “We are living in a consumer driven empire that is constantly in forward motion. It looks as if we’re progressing toward economic and environmental collapse, and the spiritual alienation of this ‘progress’ and short term instant-gratification of social media makes us numb to the pain and suffering of others. Irony is the tool by which the hipster suppresses feeling and individuality. Irony is the ideology by which the hipster ignores community and harms our ability to heal and rebuild. Only when we build a cultural sensibility that recognizes that not only are we integral to the world, but that the world is also integral to us, will we be able to create a sustainable future.”
About the Curator
Hipster Fascism is Graham Boyle’s second show at The Fridge. In October 2010, The Fridge presented Boyle’s solo show Thrive, Despite.
Graham Boyle is an artist and activist from Washington D.C who combines photojournalism, propaganda, and mixed printmaking media into street art. Working locally as an arts organizer and curator, his work aims to expand solidarity politics and to strengthen the bonds of collaboration in the artistic community around pressing issues. A graduate of Shepherd University, Graham has worked most recently as the Gallery Director of International Arts & Artists’ Hillyer Art Space in Washington DC, and as Outreach Associate for Pyramid Atlantic Art Center.
Now a freelance arts organizer contracting for a variety of social-change organizations, his latest curatorial projects include Rainbow Warriors: The Art of Resistance, a multi-media exhibition featuring many of today’s premiere social and environmental change artists, which took place on Greenpeace International’s flagship, the Rainbow Warrior 3 while at port in San Francisco Bay; and Incarcerated Masses: Artists Call for an End to Mass Incarceration, Deportations, and Detentions, an exhibit of contemporary printmakers and street-artists demanding reforms to immediately improve incarcerated people’s lives in.
Graham currently volunteers as Designer in Residence for Collective Action for Safe-Spaces, a grassroots organization working to combat anti-street harassment and gender-based sexual assault in Washington, DC. He has worked with CASS to facilitate public arts workshops with women seeking an outlet to express their resistance, as well as to create programming to challenge the prevailing culture of street-harassment in our society.
He maintains a studio and printshop at 2B Studios in NE DC.
About The Fridge
The Fridge is an art gallery, performance space, music venue and classroom located on Barracks Row in the historic Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington, DC. The space opened in 2009. The Fridge is dedicated to making the arts accessible to everyone by fostering community dialogue as well as serving as a creative lab for expression through art.
The Fridge is located on in the rear alley behind 8th Street SE, Barracks Row, between E and G Streets SE. For more information visit www.thefridgedc.com.