Curated by Mary Billyou and Eva Díaz
High Risk Citizen explores forms of political resistance and public engagement today, as considered by contemporary artists working in film and video. In this heated year of presidential electioneering, an ongoing, costly war in Iraq, and growing economic recession, both the precarity and possibilities of the moment are incredibly high.
The exhibition examines the stakes of active civic participation in an era of increased privatization and market- or wealth-driven access to state power. The works in High Risk Citizen move between depressed responses to the ways in which collective, political efficaciousness has been intentionally curtailed, and euphoric re-imaginings of sites of robust social and civic culture. While other forms of community affiliations (religious, military, or perhaps even consumer) are frequently invoked as possible substitutes, this exhibition revisits the role and affect of citizenship as one of potential tendentiousness, and questions how what we are told about our relationship to government may be in conflict with how we constitute ourselves as a public.
The exhibition program includes films by artists Peggy Ahwesh; Max Almy; Brian Boyce; Harun Farocki; Eric Fensler; Gabriel Fowler; Glass Bead Collective; Benjamin Gerdes; Neil Goldberg; Sabine Gruffat; Leopold Kessler; Emily and Sarah Kunstler; Les LeVeque; Jeanne Liotta; Van McElwee; Katherine McInnis; The Neistat Brothers; NYC Ya Basta; Mary Patten; Martha Rosler; Keith Sanborn; Shelly Silver; Brian Spinks, Eugene Mirman, and Bill Wasik; Daniel Tucker; The Yes Men; and Susan Youssef.