reflections on exile

Image: Alexander Hernandez, Surrogates, Textile soft sculptures, 6 x 5 x 3 feet each

Reflections on Exile

Reflections On Exile showcases multi-disciplinary works focused on elements of identity, diaspora, migration, and resilience. Curated Jeanette Alanis, the terrain for Reflections On Exile is global in its scale as it highlights challenging elements between human and land separation. This exhibition guides us through an on-going crisis in which has reached all spectrums of locality; especially in the Bay Area. Artists residing here harness the power of abstract and figurative art drawing attention to man-made borders, displacement, or on communities living in exile. Each work was inspired by personal content of present day displacement challenges, restrictions between the land and people, after effects of war and persecution, that forced massive sized groups to flee and seek refuge. These recurring dynamics cause disastrous divisions against the land and its people appears hopeless for humanity. Being alongside this journey attracts support; this is where Reflections on Exile can inspire change, ignite activism, heal xenophobia, and strengthen community in order to potentially open borders.

Reflections On Exile is a direct reference to and inspiration from Edward Said. This work eloquently voiced his own state of exile as “the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home.” In relation to this, the theme developed more heavily from having witnessed many deportees from South America and Haitian refugees in their state of limbo at the border town of Tijuana. Further development came from the dogmatic news that migrants are the root of all worldly problems. But in this exhibit artists reveal that instead of blaming these groups why not consider looking into the purposely planted seed of that root? The seed that led these communities to escape and search for a tangible future.

In its broadest context this theme is focused on all existing forms of forced human separation from the land. As a response and reflection on this issue, artists created from their creative lens on how exile has personally affected their lives, family, and the world. Politically, these destabilizations remain present in the most historic United States occupancy over Native land to the new wall construction designed to prevent migration from Mexico; this includes migrants from Central, South, and the Caribbean. Wall and border issues do not only exist in the Americas but in other countries such as the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Meanwhile, cultural persecution forced many Tibetans to leave their Chinese occupied country for India. Then there are the refugees who escaped the war torn countries of Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Exile became a state of existence for these artists and subjects when it should have only been a temporary journey. As they remain in exile, their works in terms of public facing represent healing and hope because it was never about being satisfied in a new place but a daily battle of resilience.

Register for our 2nd Saturday opening reception here..

Reflections on Exile is free, open to the public, and includes a Creative Station – an all ages art activity hosted in our classroom during the 2nd Saturday opening reception on Saturday, January 11, 2020, 7-9 pm.

Curated by:

Jeanette Alanis

Exhibition Dates

January 9 – February 8, 2020

Second Saturday Reception

Saturday, January 11 | 7-9pm

Evening of Performance

Saturday, February 8 | 7 – 9 PM

Gallery Hours (or by appointment)

Wednesday-Saturday, 2-6pm

Exhibiting artists

Najah Alboushi
Stephanie Andrews & Fabián Leyva-Barragán
Ellen Bepp
Paola de la Calle
Roya Ebtehaj

Uli Golub
Alexander Hernandez**
stephanie mei huang
Amanda Lee
Lydia Nakashima Degarrod

Elisa Ortega Montilla
Mehregan Pezeshki
Melanie Piech
Ghazal Rahimi
Cenorina Ramirez

Zoe Sandoval
Anna Talhami
Angelica Turner*
Rupy Tut
Rochelle Youk

Performing artists

Alexander Hernandez*
Kiana Honarmand**

Reyes Segura / MALA
Courtney Morris

Beril Or
Karen Lucia Rodríguez Pastora

Anna Talhami

with a guest altar by Victoria Hom

* Current RD Studio Artist

** RD Alumni

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