Kansas City, MO, July 23, 2021: Charlotte Street Foundation presents With Liberty and Justice, an exhibition of nine contemporary artists, on view from September 10-October 23, 2021 and curated by Kimi Kitada, Jedel Family Foundation Curatorial Fellow. The exhibition reflects on the history of America, evaluates gaps in historical knowledge, and questions the mythology of America in the collective imagination. Through the works of artists Christian Bañez (New York, NY), Michelle Chan (Kansas City, MO), Drea DiCarlo (Kansas City, MO), Leon Jones (Kansas City, MO), Le’Andra LeSeur (Jersey City, NJ), Andrew Mcilvaine (Kansas City, MO), Natalia Nakazawa (New York, NY), Xochitl Rodriguez (El Paso, TX), and Courtney Faye Taylor (Kansas City, MO), the exhibition presents multi-faceted perspectives on America, our shared histories, and honors those who came before us.
Selected artists illuminate untold narratives in relation to specific moments in American history. Christian Bañez’s sculptural installation On Display: 47 Acres alludes to the 47 acres of the Philippine Village, part of the largest human display of nearly 1,200 Filipino and Indigenous people during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The mixed media collage work of Natalia Nakazawa’s History has failed us…but no matter creates a multi-locational landscape with visual references to the Minidoka internment camp, one of the ten remote sites where Japanese-American citizens were unjustly imprisoned from 1942 to 1945. Xochitl Rodriguez’s video work braiding borders + trenzando fronteras documents a gesture of solidarity, where 52 women marched and formed a chain across the United States-Mexico border during Trump’s Inauguration Day in 2017.
In framing the exhibition, Kitada states,
“The show provides a space to re-learn histories, focusing on the omissions and erasures of BIPOC voices in American history. The work of Asian-American activist David Moriya was highly influential to me through his podcast Redress Radio. The podcast compiles audio recordings from Japanese-American survivors of internment camps, who testified about their firsthand experiences for reparations hearings. These heartbreaking narratives brought an immense depth to stories I already knew.”
Drawing upon these larger historical moments and personal stories of familial ties, this exhibition prompts a critical reading of American history: a history that has so often overlooked, disenfranchised, and inflicted violence upon people of color.
The guiding principles of the Constitution of the United States of America demand justice and liberty for all. And yet, the lived experiences of countless American communities diverge from this idealized vision of equality. The selection of artists represents a view toward the future. Through an acknowledgement of the past, each artist asserts their own presence in contemporary America and an artistic vision that pushes toward progress, resilience, and justice.
With Liberty + Justice premieres Friday, September 10 at 6:00-9:00 PM at Charlotte Street Foundation’s new gallery (3333 Wyoming).
ABOUT CHARLOTTE STREET
Charlotte Street centers Kansas City’s most forward-thinking visual artists, writers, and performers—acting as the primary incubator, provocateur, and connector for the region’s contemporary arts community, and its leading advocate on the national stage. Since 1997, Charlotte Street has distributed over $1.1 million in awards and grants to artists and their innovative projects, and connected individual artists to each other and to the greater Kansas City community. For more information about Charlotte Street, its awards, programs, and initiatives, visit www.charlottestreet.org.