The timing of this exhibition coincides with a profoundly disorienting phase in our national history. It is a time out of whack. The teleological narratives that have guided the operations of state power since the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st have crumbled, leaving behind ideological vacuums of monstrous proportions. But while the game has been disrupted, we have yet to understand whether or how the rules have changed. It is a time of great opportunity and a time of great risk.
If the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, then art has a special role to play. The works in this exhibition represent some of the particular ways in which artists access, spy upon, expose, memorialize, and occasionally trouble the machinations of state power. The title refers to a famous quote by the philosopher Michel Foucault: “Where there is power, there is resistance.” The turbulence of our current moment is a byproduct of tectonic shifts in this equation between state authority and those who oppose it, suggesting new potential strategies by which to both achieve and stymie the submission and control of mass populations. While the window to take stock of our recent history is rapidly closing, the stakes could not be higher, for as George Orwell once asserted, “Who controls the past controls the future, and who controls the present controls the past.”
About the Curator:
René Morales is Chief Curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami, where he has organized more than 50 exhibitions. Recent projects include Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for Black Art (2020), Meleko Mokgosi: Your Trip to Africa (2020), Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Surrounded Islands, 1980–83 (2018), Dara Friedman: Perfect Stranger (2017), Sarah Oppenheimer: S-281913 (2016), Susan Hiller: Lost and Found (2016), Marjetica Potrc: The School of the Forest (2015), Nicolas Lobo: The Leisure Pit (2015), Global Positioning Systems: Selections from the PAMM Collection (2014–15), Amelia Peláez: The Craft of Modernity, and Monika Sosnowska: Market (2013–14). Morales spearheaded the acquisition of nearly 400 works from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry for PAMM’s collection. He is a recipient of the 2019 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellowship and is on the board of the City of Miami Art in Public Places program. Prior to joining PAMM, Morales worked at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, in Providence. Morales studied at Swarthmore College and Brown University.