REAL/IDEAL: Turning Utopia into Reality Print

REAL/IDEAL
Image Credit: Beverly Sky, What You Are Looking For Is What Is Looking: Homage to St. Augustine and R. Magritte, 2017; Photo Credit: Steve Dunwell

REAL/IDEAL (Turning Utopia into Reality)
Mills Gallery | July 20–September 17, 2017
Opening Reception Thursday, July 20 | 6–8 pm
Curated by David Guerra

“The essential function of utopia is a critique of what is present.”
—Ernst Bloch (The Utopian Function of Art and Literature: Selected Essays, 1988)

Artists: Leika Akiyama, Aileen O. Erickson, Kate Gilbert, Ruth Ginsberg-Place, Gisela Griffith, Elisa Hamilton, Alex Khomski, Georgina Lewis, Greg Lookerse, Marilyn Mase, Silvi Naçi, Selina Narovlansky, Victor Ortale, Robert Rovenolt, Rani Sarin, Miriam Shenitzer, Beverly Sky, David Addison Small and guest artists Aaron John Bourque, Eleanor Mary Cepko, Ariel Freiberg, Aurélie Galois, Eben Haines, Dylan Hurwitz, Lillian P. H. Kology, Sara Oliver, Alicia Savage and Jeremy J. Starn

In REAL/IDEAL (Turning Utopia into Reality), 28 artists offer multiple ways to approach connections between an image of reality and an imagined reality. Featuring works by artists from Boston Center for the Arts’ Artist Studios Building along with work from 10 guest artists, curator David Guerra, director of A R E A Gallery, presents a show that articulates utopian dreams and illuminates what might be possible.

Among the global scale issues present in the show, the artists approach the rise of religious fundamentalism, consumerism, human environmental interactions, race representations in media and cultural inclusion. At a personal level, the exhibition addresses concerns such as the artist’s legacy, the idea of love, resistance, ways of looking and ideas of identity and gender.

The exhibition itself challenges existing notions of curating in an attempt to reflect on the ideal exhibition. The works, although selected by David Guerra, are ultimately presented by the public who are asked to co-curate, design and share their personal narratives within the space through the gallery’s floor plan and the artwork.

REAL/IDEAL poses a final question: What is utopia: is it happiness, fairness, fulfillment or freedom? In any case, Guerra posits, it should be an imagination of a transformation, turned into attainable possibilities.

View the press release here.