How is art from other latitudes being made and displayed? How does it travel and translate from the locales where it is conceived to the global arena? Are new meanings being produced and original assumptions lost over the journey? The exhibition How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age examines ways that globalization, or the “new internationalism in art,” is affecting visual culture. Twenty-eight artists, both emerging or mid-career (many making their American debut), from Brazil, China, India, Japan, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States are represented. Their work is determinedly individualized, yet provocatively informed by its cultural context. Their practices transcend national boundaries without surrendering their specificity.
Ranging from drawings to architectural structures, new-media installations to documentary films, the works in How Latitudes Become Forms resist standard artistic designations. Engaging and challenging as they might be, these multifaceted pieces invite us to acknowledge that there cannot be a homogenous definition of what constitutes a work of art and that the criteria of evaluation should constantly be reassessed. Many of these works dwell in a realm between technical and conceptual borders, combining popular culture, the mundane, and tradition to reveal the subversive, expansive power of art.
Often creating site-specific, collaborative works and privileging process over form, Latitudes artists stretch the definitions of their media. Embracing a sense of civic responsibility that redefines activism, they seem to prefer “making art politically” rather than “making political art.” Their work explores concepts of the local and the global, but avoids making a distinction between the two. This exhibition presents projects intended to be explored by artists and audiences together in an alternative and open-ended reflection on the ongoing shifts in our global age.