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Abrons Arts Center & Boston Center for the Arts announce an online group exhibition
Jesse Draxler, Living with a Ghost, 2017-2020, analogue collage and acrylic. Image courtesy of the artist.

NEW YORK, NY.- Abrons Arts Center and Boston Center for the Arts are co-presenting “A Language for Intimacy,” an online group exhibition, curated by Amanda Contrada and Terence Trouillot, exploring concepts of intimacy in light of the social distancing efforts across the globe in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The works and corresponding text are being presented digitally on the web June 29–August 30, 2020 at

Part of the Abrons’ summer visual arts programming and BCA’s virtual curatorial residency program—with additional support from the Laundromat Project and Topical Cream & Alice Longyu Gao—“A Language for Intimacy” features new and existing works in performance, sound, photography, sculpture, video, and drawing, from a group of nine artists, alongside written responses from nine fellow art writers. The works and corresponding texts consider expressions of intimacy through language, the body, collaboration and community, and material and space.

More broadly, the artists and writers in the exhibition consider what intimacy may look like and mean in an increasingly digital world during a time of global crisis, and, more recently, social uprising. The politics of intimacy are at the fore, from the racial health disparities the virus has exposed to the mass protests that have galvanized a global anti-racist movement to end state violence against black bodies. The xenophobia, transphobia, and systemic racism highlighted by this pandemic lay bare the inequalities people face when considering who can practice intimacy, in what ways, and for what purpose. “A Language for Intimacy” offers an opportunity to engage in this conversation around intimacy and reach people in a time of fear, isolation, and change.

Moreover, in solidarity with the protestors calling for justice in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Riah Milton, Dominique Fells, Rayshard Books, and many more, the website includes a “DONATION” page that will feature two organizations a week (chosen by both the artists and writers in the exhibition) that are fighting for racial justice, and support our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.

“As a program of Henry Street Settlement, Abrons Arts Center is uniquely positioned to understand the ways in which equitable access to social services and the arts amplifies communities’ capacities to care deeply for themselves and each other,” says Ali Rosa-Salas, Director of Programming at Abrons Arts Center. “We are delighted to support ‘A Language for Intimacy,’ which provides a platform for artists and writers to reflect on how the cultivation of intimacy is a key organizing tool.”

Randi Hopkins, Director of Visual Arts at Boston Center for the Arts, says, “BCA is proud to support this innovative curatorial project, which is responsive not only to the environment of unprecedented physical constraints we are experiencing, but also to longstanding, underlying systemic constraints that are being exposed for the enormous injustice and danger they pose to real connection and intimacy. BCA knows that art can be a voice for change, and looks forward to the conversations that this virtual exhibition engenders."

The exhibition includes artworks by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Tomás Díaz Cedeño, Jesse Chun, Sougwen Chung, Rachel Devorah, Jesse Draxler, DonChristian Jones, Sophie Kahn, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste; and texts by Erica N. Cardwell, Amanda Contrada, Noah Dillon, Ladi’Sasha Jones, Danilo Machado, Shanekia McIntosh, Amelia Rina, Mebrak Tareke, and Claire Voon.

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