May 5th – October 22nd
Listen Until You Hear
For Freedoms x Fotografiska New York
We are proud to partner with the artist-led organization, For Freedoms, to present Listen Until You Hear, featuring artworks by Hank Willis Thomas, Cassils, Maia Ruth Lee, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Eric Gottesman and Kameelah Janan Rasheed. All from diverse backgrounds, these six artists collectively create an exploratory forum for visitors to consider the idea of “visual listening,” a concept where we ask you to not only listen with your ears, but to connect more deeply with your own body and to be more aware of your relationship with others.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
What does it mean to accept and relate to the unfamiliar experience of someone else or make sense of what we only know through intuition or feeling? How does truly seeing and hearing each other impact our relationships and stories?
Listen Until You Hear is an invitation to audiences to be present by approaching the photography, film, sculpture and performance on display, with curiosity and intentional awareness. Each of the exhibiting artists explore the idea of listening as healing with work that is deeply personal, political, and imaginative through a variety of media. The artists’ use of representation is an inquiry into the unseen and unheard, and highlights how meaning and value are shaped by our ability to listen and hear others.
This exhibition explores how deeper forms of listening can lead to greater awareness and connection to ourselves and the world around us. The artists in this exhibition meditate on the complexity of life—visualizing themes including freedom, family, love, pain, survival and the future.
The Banned Book Reading Room
Accompanying the exhibition’s artworks, the “Banned Book Reading Room” on our sixth floor loft invites guests to engage with a rotating selection of books that since 2021 are tracked by the ACLU and PEN America as having been banned in various American school districts – including some within just 40 miles of the museum. These titles include multiple works by Toni Morrison, as well as Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and many books perceived as ‘radical’ or ‘dangerous’ but often simply speak to the everyday experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color.
The Banned Book Reading Room is presented in coordination with Eric Gottesman’s exhibiting body of work, Oromaye Project, which focuses on an Ethiopian novel banned by an oppressive regime in the 1980.
Listen to SOLEFUL, a new immersive podcast brought to you by the School of Lived Experience and executive produced by For Freedoms, exploring the intersection of spirituality, art, and lived experience through contemplative practice, storytelling, and conversation. As part of the exhibition experience, the elevator at Fotografiska will be transformed into a Meditation Booth, a space for relaxation and calm. Subscribe to SOLEFUL on Spotify.
ABOUT FOR FREEDOMS
Established in 2016, For Freedoms is an artist-led organization that models and increases creative civic engagement, discourse, and direct action. For Freedoms works with artists and organizations to center the voices of artists in public discourse, expand on what participation in a democracy looks like, and reshape conversations about politics. In service of cultivating a culture that values awakening, justice, listening and healing, For Freedoms explores healing and listening in 2023 through art and collaboration.
Cannupa Hansker Luger, (b. 1979, Standing Rock Reservation, New Mexico) speaks to Indigenous Futurism with his textile, sculpture, and digital media works.
Cassils (b. 1975, Toronto, Ontario), whose practice mediums include photography, sculpture, performance, and installation, explores the history of LGBTQ+ violence, representation, struggle, and survival.
Eric Gottesman (b. 1976, Nashua, New Hampshire) – who has never created an artwork alone – teaches, organizes, writes, and makes art that aspires to be collaborative; questions accepted notions of power; and proposes models for repair.
Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976, Plainfield, New Jersey), a conceptual artist who works primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture, exhibits six layered works in Listen Until You Hear—three of which have never been exhibited.
Kameelah Janan Rasheed (b. 1985, East Palo Alto, California)’s immersive texts, collaborative projects, and explorations in sound build on her interest in Blackness, language, and privacy.
Maia Ruth Lee (b. 1983, Busan, South Korea)’s three-component multimedia installation The Stranger (2018) opens the viewer up to the artists’ internal dialogues and questions concerning identity, family, memory, and self-preservation.