Image courtesy of the Jewish Museum

Visual Arts Students and Recent Alumni Present Work in Live Program with the Jewish Museum

BY Amanda Breen, April 14, 2021

Visual arts students Joseph LiatelaJuan Hernández Díaz, and Lindsey Brittain Collins and alumni Farah Mohammad ’21, Yi Sa-Ra ’20, Cara Lynch ’20, Paula Lycan ’20, Yifan Jiang ’20, Baris Gokturk ’20, Aika Akhmetova ’20, and Kate Liebman ’19 will present new video, sound, and performance work during a live program with the Jewish Museum. The event takes place Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm ET via Zoom, and it will respond to the show, We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz, which was on display from October 1, 2020 to February 14, 2021.


Horowitz’s We Fight to Build a Free World included more than 70 voices, ranging from an 18th-century portraitist to contemporary artists commissioned for the exhibition, to elucidate the links between historical oppression and the cultural and political challenges we face today. The exhibition examined how artists have historically responded to the rise of authoritarianism and xenophobia as well as racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of bigotry. Additionally, it explored issues surrounding immigration, assimilation, and cultural identity. 


We Fight to Build a Free World was conceived in 2017 in response to a resurgence of anti-Semitism. On its website, the Jewish Museum states, “The relevance of this exhibition has become more acute as the country reels from numerous incidents of police brutality towards people of color and a reckoning with the history of systemic racism. In the organization of this project, Jonathan Horowitz has acted as curator, researcher, activist, and artist.” 


The exhibition’s title was adapted from Ben Shahn’s painting We Fight For A Free World!, which was also on view. Shahn presents a red brick wall plastered with five posters, each depicting a different “enemy method”: suppression, starvation, slavery, torture, and murder. “We FIGHT for a FREE World!” is scrawled in white along the bottom. 

More than 80 works of painting, sculpture, photography, and video were featured, incorporating examples of American social realism from the 1930s and 1940s, new pieces by Horowitz, and 36 commissioned protest posters by contemporary artists, including Judith Bernstein, Marcel Dzama, Rico Gatson, Kim Gordon and Jason Smith, Cheyenne Julien, Christine Sun Kim, Guadalupe Maravilla, and Marilyn Minter. 


Other artists on display included Asco, Huma Bhabha, Enrique Chagoya, Robert Colescott, Philip Evergood, Luis Jiménez, Rebecca Lepkoff, Glenn Ligon, Abraham Manievich, Bernard Perlin, Adrian Piper, Fritz Scholder, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Henry Sugimoto, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Max Weber, and Charles White, among others.


A virtual tour of the exhibition can be viewed here

You can register for the event here.