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Proposal for an Exhibition, Unwitting Accomplices 36 Objects Thrown in Violent Incidents

Triple Candie
500 West 148th Street, just west of Amsterdam Avenue, 212-368-3333
February 11 - March 9, 2008
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Triple Candie is pleased to present Proposal for an Exhibition: Unwitting Accomplices Objects Thrown in Violent Incidents. The exhibition consists of three antique, glass-topped museum cases containing thirty-four rocks, broken bottles, aluminum cans, plastic water bottles, metal, and glass fragments. Additionally, a wooden crate, fitted with a clear Plexiglas top, contains an upside-down chair and a table. All of the objects were allegedly thrown during riots, protests, and individual acts of aggression.

The objects are accompanied by labels that situate them at the center of specific conflicts. The stories are all true, and have been taken from news reports. They include incidents in Beijing, Budapest, Caracas, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, and elsewhere. Among them is the account of neighborhood residents in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, stoning the home of a couple accused of abusing their children; a protestor in Paris throwing a metal spike at French police during a pro-labor demonstration; Russian Orthodox activists throwing rocks and beer bottles during a raid on a gay nightclub; and a man in southwestern Michigan throwing a table and chair at his finance during a case of domestic violence.

For obvious reasons, the objects on view are all surrogates, which is to say that they are real objects, they just aren’t the objects used in the incidents described. An actual exhibition of this nature would be impossible to organize: one would need to be present at these sites of conflict, collect the objects thrown, and identify and interview the throwers. Triple Candie is presenting this exhibition as merely a proposal. It is an exhibition that we would like to do, but can Thirty-four of the objects were collected from the streets of Harlem; two were already in Triple Candie’s possession.

Seen in the beautiful museum cases, many of the objects – the glass bottle fragments, the crumpled plastic water bottles, and the aerosol cans; rusted, caked in dirt look oddly inert. They appear to have outlived their own histories, now entombed as specimens. Others, such as the large rocks or metal spikes are unnerving, looking as if they were designed by nature to inflict injury and cause destruction. They appear to be temporarily held at rest through their incarceration here.

In the Project Space (Ongoing):

The Matthew Higgs Society Reading Room: Selections from the Society’s ever-growing archives.
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