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In Pursuit Of It, 2018 | © SPRING/BREAK Art Show
In Pursuit Of It, 2018 | © SPRING/BREAK Art Show
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'Stranger Comes To Town' Explores Otherness for Armory Arts Week

Picture of Amber C. Snider
Home & Design Editor
Updated: 23 February 2018
Now in its seventh installment, SPRING/BREAK art show will present a new curator-driven exhibition: Stranger Comes to Town, tackling themes of migration, otherness, and alienation.
11.Resonance Structures_curated by Ché Morales
Resonance Structures, curated by Ché Morales | Courtesy of SPRING/BREAK

“There are only two stories: a hero goes on a journey; a stranger comes to town.” No, this isn’t a tagline for Westworld, but this year’s theme for SPRING/BREAK’s 2018 art fair. Exploring the inherent duality within storytelling and ideas of “foreign-ness, migration, assimilation, and the alchemy of the Other,” the show will run for six days in March—extending an extra day to allow local artists to support the work of their peers.

Curators for the show are coming from all over the world: New York City, Mexico City, Santo Domingo, Los Angeles, Lagos, and more. The free exhibition, located at 4 Times Square in Manhattan, coincides with Armory Arts Week, which will begin on March 7th.

1.The Elephant In The Room (or Stanly Kubrick Isn't Dead He Just Looks Funny)_installation detail_by Greg Haberny_curated by Catinca Tabacaru and Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori
The Elephant In The Room (or Stanly Kubrick Isn’t Dead He Just Looks Funny). Installation detail by Greg Haberny | Courtesy of SPRING/BREAK

Visitors can expect a series of curated exhibitions that feature work from both emerging and mid-career artists. The “Stranger Comes to Town” theme explores how any event or arrival of a newcomer can be identified as either an act of colonialism or heroism, infiltration or celebration. In a society that is currently in the trenches of social and political polarization, the idea of the ‘stranger’ can be seen as a metaphor for this division.

“Even in a land looming with a Copper Goddess, one practically begging for the whole world’s Strangers, America’s symbolic territories have consistently mobilized against the Outsider—even, as if obeying vampiric protocol, after inviting them straight in the front door,” state SPRING/BREAK’s organizers.

2_CURRENT SEA 3_James Ostrer_curated by Azu Nwagbogu_photgraph_2018
CURRENT SEA by James Ostrer. Curated by Azu Nwagbogu, 2018 | Image courtesy of SPRING/BREAK

The tone of frustration with America’s societal contradictions weaves itself through this year’s artist statement, setting a tone of opposition (by spotlighting antitheses and focusing on ‘otherness’). “What is this Melting Pot of opposites—formally, linguistically, ideologically? And do artists themselves swap spit in this primordial soup, slaking a deep craving, or pooling a buckshee of backwash in their merger?”

Just as political discourse on social media ultimately divides us, alienating us from true wisdom and productive exchange, SPRING/BREAK art show will attempt to mate “the opposites [that are often] central to great art” and explore the “Outsider and Insider [as] two broken halves, making each other complete.”

3. In Pursuit Of It_Curated by Nicole Grammatico and Christina Papanicolaou_Artworks by Hein Koh, Hiba Schahbaz and Robin F. Williams,
In Pursuit Of It, curated by Nicole Grammatico and Christina Papanicolaou. Artworks by Hein Koh, Hiba Schahbaz and Robin F. Williams | © SPRING/BREAK Art Show

Just as political discourse on social media ultimately divides us, alienating us from true wisdom and productive exchange, SPRING/BREAK art show will attempt to mate “the opposites [that are often] central to great art” and explore the “Outsider and Insider [as] two broken halves, making each other complete.”

7.If You Look Deep You'll Find You Have To Look Deeper_curated by Mike Perry + Otto Mike
7.If You Look Deep You'll Find You Have To Look Deeper_curated by Mike Perry + Otto Mike

Ultimately, the artist statement comes to a pinnacle of thought—one that grounds the theme and drives it home: Is this Otherness, this Stranger-ness, this tension between the I/Other, endemic to the creation of art or its experience? When it comes to a creative body of work, is the line between the personal and public always merging, or always skewed? Or, in the curators’ words: “What is this melting pot between You and I, Them and Us, the work and the artist?”

10. Further Explorations Into Contemporary Blackness_by Azikiwe Mohammed_Curated by Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori
Further Explorations Into Contemporary Blackness by Azikiwe Mohammed. Curated by Ambre Kelly and Andrew Gori | Image courtesy of SPRING/BREAK

This articulation of self-discovery and disconnection, of opposition, of otherness, of migration and territory, can be explored from March 7-12 at 4 Times Square. SPRING-BREAK Art Show 2018 is free and open to the public.