Jeffrey Meris, Let My Country Die For Me
Hunter East Harlem Gallery
2180 3rd Avenue and 119th Street
New York, NY
Through January 25
GALLERY CUBED (GC) is a portable pop-up, a 4 x 8 foot gallery in a box. The franchise kit includes hidden electrical power, easily replaceable parts, and manageable, stackable, flat-pack, space-saving, interlocking panels that are easy to assemble. Anyone can put together the pieces to make a sturdy, load-bearing exhibition space appear out of thin air. GC’s mission is to empower communities and artists through the transformative power of a sustainable art experience. More art for more people for less money.
Inside of the walls of GALLERY CUBED, Nathan Rayman presents his curatorial project, NEA: Network of Extraordinary Artists. The NEA supports international artists applying for the O-1 US Visa or Green Card by offering them opportunities to fulfill specific requirements—exhibitions, publications, panel participation, etc.—that prove their “extraordinariness” to immigration authorities. Like HEHG’s exhibition, The Extraordinary, the NEA is populated through an open call put out by GALLERY CUBED and selected by a jury of established arts workers.
The NEA will present a series of six solo exhibitions beginning on October 16, 2019 and rotating through March, 2020. The NEA began in 2019 and serves as an inclusive, generative network at a time when the US’s original NEA (the National Endowment for the Arts) is at risk of being dismantled and money is more often channelled through the secondary art market. In this environment of dwindling support and funding for art production, the NEA calls into question the metrics used to obtain the status of an “extraordinary” or “successful” artist. How is this lofty goal made even more difficult for non-residents? How can we re-imagine existing structures so that they might yield a more inclusive dividend of success rather than creating competition, scarcity, and rejection?