Willie Doherty, how the light gets in
Johnson Museum of Art, NY USA
7 September - 8 December 2019
The exhibition brings together an international group of 58 artists and artist teams and collectives, ranging in age from their twenties to their nineties and representing 29 countries of birth and residence. Their work engages with themes of migration, immigration, displacement, and exile. Artworks including drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, and video will be installed in all of the Museum’s temporary exhibition galleries, contemporary collection gallery, lobbies, and on the facade and grounds.
how the light gets in presents mainly post–9/11 artworks that address conditions of mobility, vulnerability, and the loss of and yearning for home. The featured works reject aestheticizing suffering and aim to restore the dignity of people who migrate, putting parallel spotlights on the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and the human consequences of US immigration policy, especially along its southern border. Rather than focus on documentary photography, as images of refugees in boats and at border fences continue to inundate the news media, works that prompt identification with migrants and refugees encourage visitors to participate in a narrative of empathy, which, writer Rebecca Solnit has noted, “we tell ourselves to make other people real to us, to feel for and with them, and thereby to extend and enlarge and open ourselves.”