A.I.R. Gallery is proud to present the 6th edition of CURRENTS, an open call exhibition series in which artists respond to current topics, with this iteration addressing the theme of gaslighting and manipulation.
The 19 international artists in this exhibition, CURRENTS: An Overwhelming Response, represent a plurality of voices exploring and pushing back against experiences and ramifications of gaslighting—or manipulations of reality—on individuals, communities, and culture. The title is drawn from Le’Andra LeSeur’s video work, An Overwhelming Response, which tracks the dismissals, denials, and violent backlash to Black women reporting sexual assaults. This title also evokes the artistic responses to the show’s open call, and the exhibition includes a diverse range of media encompassing sculpture, video, photography, painting, textile, and works on paper. Many of these artworks model healing and shifts in perception to bolster self-knowledge and solicit community support in the face of trauma.
Gaslighting undermines, isolates, and divides. The term comes from the 1938 play and 1944 film Gaslight where a woman is manipulated by her husband to paranoid extremes of self-doubt and anxiety, though she is ultimately vindicated. The work on view in CURRENTS: An Overwhelming Response represents the final selection from an overwhelming response to the open call itself, attesting the importance of naming and visualizing all forms of gaslighting and abuse in 2020. By presenting this array of works, A.I.R. Gallery continues to build on expanded conversations about feminism in art, allowing for the works of these powerful women and gender non-conforming artists to foster connection and communication.