“An Atlas of Events”

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum | Lisbon

The very first work encountered in “An Atlas of Events” presented the theme of the exhibition. Rodney McMillan’s Untitled, 2006, is composed of two large-scale black columns that resemble the Twin Towers, atop which are two embalmed baboons. As this work suggests, the show intended to examine post-9/11 society politically, economically, and culturally. Brought together by António Pinto Ribeiro, Debra Singer, and Esra Sarigedik Öktem, the twenty-eight participating artists offered multiple points of view on this theme. Such diversity made for a rich exhibition in which each artist’s personal experience was more important than any overall perspective. At the same time, however, there was a sort of splintering of topics that lessened the show’s capacity to encompass such difficult subject matter—it was as if, instead of one, there were three exhibitions, each with its own curator.

The show

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