MIDDLETOWN — Saint Louis-based multimedia artist Kahlil Robert Irving is curating the second exhibition at Wesleyan University’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery this fall, “This Country,” and a series of video screenings, “Mapping Energies,” in the South Gallery and Zilkha Room 106, located at 283 Washington Terrace on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown, through Nov. 18. New extended gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 5 p.m.; Thursday from noon to 7 p.m.; and Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
“Street Matter — Decay & Forever / Golden Age,” Kahlil Robert Irving’s first solo exhibition in New England, is currently on view in the adjacent Main Gallery, including several pieces commissioned by the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.
The “Mapping Energies” videos will be screened on Tuesdays from noon to 5 p.m., and Thursdays from noon to 7 p.m., through Nov. 15.
Works by 15 artists encompass a range of practices and media, and diverse cultural ties from around the world.
The exhibition “This Country” uses the flag as a model for accessing the complex discourse around present day civil rights. The artists included all live in the United States, and the works included represent thoughtful, relevant, and unique statements on the use of a flag as a reference, motif, and symbol. “This Country” visualizes the power of the flag as these artists touch upon personal narratives, issues, and symbols of what it means to live and work in the United States. Works are included by artists Modou Dieng, Addoley Dzegede, André Filipek, Ari Fish, Rashawn Griffin, Andy Li, Patrick Martinez, Catalina Ouyang, Edward Salas, Aram Han Sifuentes, and Edra Soto.
Working through different archives, monologues, and collage, the works in the series of video screenings “Mapping Energies” show the complicated nature of what it means to be Black and of the African Diaspora. All works presented respond to the news media, and representations of both current and past events. The works enact a memorialization of past documentary technologies and a simultaneous focus on how reinterpretation interacts with what people see. Two alternating presentations of videos are shared by artists Ja’Tovia Gary, James Maurelle, William Morris, and Saliou Traoré.