Friday, May 28, 2010

Michael Paul Britto: THE COST OF FORGETTING

Michael Paul Britto: THE COST OF FORGETTING
Exhibition Dates: May 28 - July 10, 2010

Opening: TONIGHT! Friday, May 28, 2010 6-9pm
Curated by Marcos Dimas and Christine Licata
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 12-6pm, Thursday 1-7pm, Monday and Sunday Closed

As part of our 40th anniversary celebration, the Taller Boricua presents the third and last in our series of multiple, solo exhibitions by artists who share facets of our mission: art and aesthetics, community, art activism as well as music and performance.

Michael Paul Britto's exhibition "The Cost of Forgetting" confronts the issues of racism and identity politics through both a historical and contemporary lens. His work examines the current manifestations and consequences of the ongoing inequality in America and the price society pays for its denial. His video "And They Sold Us Like Beasts" is created from a looped scene of a slave ship crossing the ocean from the film "Roots." Seen from the inside of the hull looking out toward the waves, the piece encourages a visceral and immediate sense of empathy and humanity to the logically incomprehensible atrocities of the past, allowing for honest, open discourse in the present. Although slave ships no longer exist, the sense of powerlessness and injustice driven by discrimination is still prevalent today. "Who Has the Power?" consists of a life size Ku Klux Klan robe made from African style textiles accompanied by a video depicting the transformation. By switching the semantics of the historical language of dominance and oppression, Britto empowers viewers to see the possibility of change and the transient nature of power and control at its core. "Bottle Blonde #1" and "Don't drink and..."appropriate recognizable consumable goods to reveal the underlying, self-negating stereotypes promoted within the racially biased mass media. These deeply ingrained social discourses offer African Americans distorted white-centric views of idealized beauty and promote detrimental aspirations of negative notoriety versus positive achievement. Britto engages the viewer in provocative, accessible and insightful dialogues about racial prejudices as well as the potential to redefine them.


Taller Boricua Galleries
1680 Lexington Avenue, NYC, N.Y. 10029
t: 212.831.4333 f: 212.831.6274 e: contact@tallerboricua.org www.tallerboricua.org
Directions: 6 Train to 103Street / Free admission / Center is accessible for individuals with disabilities

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