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The Fragments + Resistance artists, curators and collaborators on opening night.
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Fragments + Resistance Rocked the House On Opening Night with Powerful New Performances

Posted on September 25, 2019

The fusion of the personal and the political took center stage at the opening of Fragments + Resistance on Thursday evening, September 19th. The show features new works by two CE artists, Joseph “JD” Green and John Iwaszewicz, and is curated by brothers and artists Carlos Cartagena and Victor Cartagena (CE Teaching artist). Fragments + Resistance challenges viewers to elevate and include the voices of artists with developmental disabilities in critical discussions about race and identity in the United States. Green’s work addresses the violence against, and mainstream imagination of, African Americans in the United States. Iwaszewicz’s work elaborates on the important role of music in his life, specifically playing guitar. 

The exhibition includes paintings by both artists; such as multicolored faces with somber expressions satirizing Jim Crow era depictions of African Americans and psychedelic illustrations of guitars. The artists also worked on three-dimensional, process-based pieces; the show includes actual guitars that were burnt, cast into a block of cement, and otherwise destroyed by Iwaszewicz and Victor Cartagena in his personal studio. One of Green’s pieces is made up of dozens of illustrated black and white hands which hang individually from strings on the gallery wall.

The exhibition opening included performances. To start off the night, Green donned a white hoodie, put black tape over his mouth and sat keeled over on a chair to embody the oppression that African Americans experience in the United States. While Green was seated, local Emcee Infinite (Carlos Aguirre) freestyled and beatboxed, riffing off of a series of words like “humanity” and “struggle” that appear in one of Green’s paintings. Aguirre then wrote these words on Green’s hoodie with a marker. Green and Aguirre invited the audience to write their own words on the hoodie -- phrases like “Black Lives Matter” and the word “brilliant” on his hood. After a few minutes of audience participation, Green exited the scene and reappeared from behind the audience to bow, remove his tape, and show the rest of the audience what had been written, claiming his agency both within the performance and in the world as an individual and as an artist.

John Iwaszewicz, Victor and Carlos Cartagena, and Studio Director Paul Moshammer, and CE Teaching artist Joe McGovern replicated the jam sessions held on Thursdays in the studio. They played “Soul Rebel,” recorded originally by Bob Marley and recently covered by one of Victor’s favorite artists, Manu Chao. The performance exemplified what Iwaszewicz finds at and contributes to Creativity Explored -- a shared rhythm of community, solidarity, and self-expression. 


Fragments + Resistance is open until November 7th, 2019. Come check it out!

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