new-york

Monica Hernandez, scene 6, 2017, oil on canvas, 72 x 96". From “For Us.”

“For Us”

BronxArtSpace

Monica Hernandez, scene 6, 2017, oil on canvas, 72 x 96". From “For Us.”

Years ago, when I first moved to Brooklyn, my downstairs neighbor told me he was having a party. I was welcome to come, he said, but I should understand that if no one engaged me, it wouldn’t be personal. “The party’s for us,”was how he put it. I never forgot the precision of his message: As a white woman in a predominantly African American neighborhood, I wouldn’t be excluded, but my inclusion wasn’t a priority. I remembered this as I walked into “For Us,” a group show of eight female artists of color under thirty, curated by Kiara Ventura at BronxArtSpace. And while the particulars of who constitutes “us” and “them” continuously shifted within the show—GIFs as artworks (by RAFiA Santana) and Snapchat filters as a medium (in videos by Caseena Karim), for instance, highlighted the chasms between generations—difference and division remained forces to be reckoned with.

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