Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Michelle Wilson at the Powel House Museum
November 2-25, 2007
Landmarks Contemporary Projects
What if the liberty we believe we know is only a shadow of true freedom?
Landmarks Contemporary Projects is pleased to present Aftermath, an important new project by artist Michelle Wilson. Aftermath will be on view at the Powel House Museum in Philadelphia from November 2-25, 2007.
Behind the scenes of privileged power and middle-class comfort is a complex web of influence and deferred responsibility. Aftermath is a multi-media installation that will challenge viewers to consider the unseen consequences of the choices we make as a society, as well as the choices made for us by those in authority.
Inspired by the ideas of Plato's Cave, as well as alchemical theories of fire as a purifier, Wilson tries to find a way to see clearly in a world confounded by mass misinformation and misdirection. Aftermath exposes the ashes we have collectively brushed under the rug. Do you burn what you fear, or what you hate? Or are they the same thing?
Artist Michelle Wilson recently lived in the Powel House Museum for two years as Site Manager/Caretaker. Aftermath is heavily informed by her time there, which raised troubling questions about the relationship between social responsibility and the often unspoken existence and influence of an American aristocracy. She learned that upper-class society is frequently as disconnected from everyday life as it appears in movies and television. Unfortunately, the collateral damages from the actions of this aristocracy trickle down to the masses much more reliably than any tax breaks could.
While living at the Powel House, surrounded by an environment of historical restoration and fantasy, Wilson observed the world with new eyes. The Iraq war, the degradation of the environment, imprisonment without trial, genocide in the Sudan--she couldn't help but wonder how the American people could be s complacent. Through prints, installation, projections and sound, Wilson will attempt to break through this mask of comfort. The Powel House--as a center of the political and social milieu surrounding the birth of our Constitution--is an ideal, if sad site for this experiment.