It’s election season, and a rather sleepy one at that, so why not stop by the new politically infused show at Apexart? “UNREST: Revolt against Reason” is a stellar reminder of how art and politics can sometimes combine to create something entirely new and powerful. The show was organized by Natalie Musteata, a Ph.D. student in Art History at the Graduate Center, CUNY, who noticed that her students in a freshman class at Parsons balked at the idea that art should be political. “They’re still trying to figure out what they think art should be,” she said on the phone, “but their ideas were very traditional in that they thought art should only be aesthetically pleasing. My job was to expose them to other types of practices.” She applied to do the show at Apexart, her first ever curation job, and the result is great, with work by mounir fatmi, Claire Fontaine, Shilpa Gupta, Iman Issa, Tala Madani, Ahmet Öğüt, Tomáš Rafa and Alexandre Singh.
One of the standout pieces, by Ms. Gupta, features the artist singing a famous speech by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, in a song that plays through a microphone. “Rather than absorbing sound, it’s emitting sound,” Ms. Musteata said. “It’s her voice filling the space.” Pretty great, right? You can read a bit more about the show here and here, and if you’re curious about which artist did which piece in the slide show to the left you can find the show’s checklist here. It closes Oct. 27, be sure not to miss it!