kNOw Spaces is both a sculptural exhibition and programmatic artwork by Jordan Weber which critiques our society’s ability to provide sustainable practices. His works examine agricultural systems, including soil and air cleansing on Superfund sites and sustainable food supplies, to cultural sustainability — which bodies are in a position to sustain themselves, which are resourced to survive, systematically, and which are disadvantaged, structurally. The artist seeks to find collaborative solutions to rebuild towards communal empowerment through new ecologies, devoting spaces, and through spiritual reflection and meditation. In this project, Weber asks, “How do we live independently of a system that is unsustainable for our societal whole and also live towards communal empowerment? If a legacy of violence against the land threatens violence against the bodies that should be nourished and supported by it, how can we best respond? When heritage speaks to survival despite ongoing structural disadvantage, what can we build now, that our descendants will thrive from?”
The exhibition features two congruent spaces which support the intersections of these ideologies. The front of the gallery is devoted to a programming space which draws on philosophies and forms of Resurrection City, a 1968 demonstration organized by the Poor People’s Campaign, a multiracial effort lead by Martin Luther King Jr., which drew attention to economic injustices and alleviating poverty. At Law Warschaw Gallery, white walls are outfitted floor to ceiling in plywood remnants to recall the original tents and shacks of Resurrection City. The inverted model will serve as a platform for performances, conversations, and programs throughout the exhibitions’ run with the goal to catalyze and prompt long-term sustainable constructs that collectively open white box spaces for alternative urbanisms. Collectives and individuals are encouraged to organize weekly interactive workshops for public and college audiences and contribute to the exhibition with ephemera from these activities.
Central to the space, is an introspective structure inspired by the remoteness of a deer blind which serves as a respite for black and brown bodies seeking sanctuary as well as a metaphoric panopticon for inversing power dynamics of bodies viewing and being viewed. Sculptural objects throughout the gallery recognize specific moments of trauma for bodies of color and the land — including uniquely Midwestern experiences, spaces, and institutions — and encourage a proposal for their healing and empowerment, through collective gathering and awareness, meditation and reflection, and action.
The opening reception takes place on September 14, from 6—9 pm and will feature a guzheng performance by Jarrelle Barton and free haircuts from Gawolo Irving of Minneapolis.