How can one discuss painful issues without victimizing those who are affected by them anew? Picturing and “regarding the pain of others” (Susan Sontag) involves the risk of triggering a double victimization, an unbalanced relationship between those who talk about or observe pain, on the one hand, and those who suffer it without the power to articulate it themselves, on the other.
The exhibition Infrastructures of Pain features three artistic approaches that are de-victimizing the imagery and rhetoric of pain. Reversing the gaze, they focus on the structures that produce victims and their catalysts rather than attempting to illustrate pain. These works draw on victimizing discourses and operate within their visual paradigms, interspersing them with fissures, cracks, and twists.
Andrea Crespo, Adelita Husni-Bey, and Carissa Rodriguez do not look at the pain of others from a distant position but instead address questions which they either embody themselves or which relate to them and the North American context in which they live—questions concerning the prescription of the American Dream in the age of technology, questions of competition, of success and failure, of normativity and deviation, and of the role of creative individuals in these constellations and settings.
Curated by Nina Tabassomi
Graphic design: Leila Tabassomi
July 29, 6pm: Curator’s tour