CHAMPAIGN, IL.- On-Screen: Global Intimacy (August 28, 2009 through January 3, 2010) brings together ten artists from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the United States whose works investigate the transnational reach of globalization as a universalizing phenomenon. Their cultural outreach extends beyond the limitations of physical boundaries and is inclusive of transnational exchanges where goods, people, information, and knowledge migrate across diverse territories. These artists explore the various processes involved in identity formation and offer competing and contradictory perspectives about the homogenizing force of globalization.
The exhibiting artists draw from their diverse identities and histories to explore competing and contradictory claims about the homogenizing force of globalization. The video piece by Alex Hernández-Dueñas turns the simple act of taking a bath into a poignant commentary on the disparities of wealth and control over resources in cities where resources are limited. Tiong Angs dreamlike video of three men returning home from a days work speaks to issues of class and race. The men, isolated and alienated from their surroundings, stare past the camera in an almost trancelike state into the far distant rural landscape. Achillekà Komguem trains his lens on a chaotic intersection in urban Africa; though lacking a traffic signalthe ultimate regulating tool of modern urban planningthe chaotic flow of traffic remains, miraculously, collision-free. Andrew Dosunmu draws inspiration from the nomadic, marginal lives of gypsies (gitanes), who forge ties with various cultures and traditions regardless of territorial boundaries. Kambui Olujimi and Hank Willis Thomas respond to the social violence that is prevalent in contemporary society. Using toys to simulate real-life scenarios, their work critiques the Western medias treatment of violence as entertainment. Donna Kukama performs repetitive mundane actions from daily life, which become discreet, transgressive actions addressing absence as much as the presence of time. Fatimah Tuggars digital works juxtapose scenes from Africa and America; technology is used to emphasize the experiences of individuals who traverse multiple locations. Mendi + Keith Obadike constantly work across media to examine institutional boundaries of power and their limited capacity to control individual subjects. Using poetry, music, theater, and the Internet as their media, they explore new ways of engaging viewers.