Emerging Curator 2020| Abigail Raphael Collins: Sound Off
January 1, 2020
Image: Nikita Gale, Interceptor, courtesy of Martos Gallery and 56 Henry
Emerging Curator Exhibition Engages Silence as a Tool of Resistance
The exhibition, Sound Off, fifth in the Emerging Curator’s series, opens in January 2020
Interdisciplinary artist Abigail Raphael Collins, selected by a jury to curate the 2020 Emerging Curators exhibition at LACE, explores silence as an expression of political resistance. Works by artists and activists engage silence as a way to honor the inarticulable, defy demands of production, prioritize deep listening, and refuse to incriminate. Rather than negating the importance of speaking up, speaking truth to power, or raising our voices, this exhibition treats silence as a powerful tool of resistance alongside acts of speech. Work by artists Nikita Gale, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Sharon Hayes, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Aliza Shvartz, among others, is included, along with historical documentation of silent protests.
Collins’ proposal was selected from a field of 45. As panelist Ciara Ennis, director/curator of Pitzer Art Galleries at Pitzer College, stated, “The current instability and urgency of our time demands radical and alternative responses. Abigail Raphael Collins’ curatorial tactic of deploying silence as a political tool for examining trauma and protest seemed like an appropriate and effective approach.” The other panelists in this year’s selection process were artist Samira Yamin, and Hammer Museum assistant curator Erin Christovale.
In Collins’ words, “Listening is central to almost every work in this exhibition, and it’s also central to the process of curating it. I’m coming to the artworks and protests with these questions, and listening to their often non-verbal responses: How does silence function in tandem with sounding? How are they interdependent? How is honoring interiority a political act? Can the loss of language we experience when our humanity is denied be held up as a testament of its own? What happens when we listen collectively to those silences? How can this collective reception heal, resist, and shift oppressive power structures? What does an intersectional feminist refusal to speak sound like?“
Abigail Raphael Collins is an interdisciplinary artist who works with video, installation, and photography. She draws from documentary, journalistic, and conceptual practices to reconsider relationships between media and systemic violence from a queer feminist lens. Collins received her MFA from UCLA and BFA from Cooper Union.
About the Emerging Curator Program – this program is designed to discover curatorial talent in Los Angeles and gives an opportunity for an emerging curator to partner with LACE. Applicants are reviewed by a panel that recommends a compelling project to the LACE team consistent with LACE’s experimental spirit. The next deadline to apply for the program is November 1, 2019, for presentation in early 2021.