Lech Szporer “Burial for Rebellion: Studies in Post-Criminality”

Y Gallery (319 Grand St.)

poster for Lech Szporer “Burial for Rebellion: Studies in Post-Criminality”
[Image: Lech Szporer "The Cage Project" (2015)]

This event has ended.

Y Gallery presents Burial for the Rebellion: Studies in Post-Criminality, the first solo exhibit by Lech Szporer at Y Gallery. Featuring a series of artworks and allegorical interventions that revolve around a narrative of post-criminality, Szporer’s work challenges us to negotiate the relationship between art and criminality. From organizing community teach-ins, press conferences, to founding nonprofits and facilitating social justice movements, Szporer’s research, actions, and critical reflect also involve painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, video and photographic documentation, as well as collaborations with established organizations.

The present exhibition is conceived also as a platform for art and social change. It will include 5 main interventions: The Stolen Judge’s Pen, The NBC Arrest, The Slave Is Not For Sale Juneteenth Reenactment, Attempted Circumnavigation of Rikers Island, and The Cage Project, but also drawing, painting, sculpture, photograph and video related to these actions.

Through pedagogical techniques of sociological intervention, détournement, and satire, Szporer confronts the theme of prison from multiple critical angles. By incorporating criminality and the law into his work in such a way so as to metaphorically overcome the restraints posed on free expression, he in turn finds a law of his own, in between what is criminal and post-criminal. Risking his own life and liberty, Lech Szporer stages dilemmas that challenges the viewer to negotiate between sculpture and strategy, site and intervention, intimacy and reciprocity. By strategically militarizing his own vulnerabilities, he is able to interrogate the criminal justice system and enhance human intimacy. His works depict an ongoing interrogation of the complex relationship between creative practice and political action. Recently, the artist staged an unprecedented silent performance called The Cage Project, where he was handcuffed and sealed shut in a freestanding steel cage and placed in the middle of the intersection of Center and White St. outside of the Manhattan Detention Center, resulting in his arrest. Dealing with issues of on prison reform, mental health, and race in America, the artist has stated: “I am dedicating my life to see how art can be used to accelerate social change,”

As part of the exhibition, a Panel Discussion on Post-Criminality will take place at the Gallery on Friday, Dec. 18th 7-9pm with the participation of the speakers: Joseph Jazz Hayden, CEO of Still Here Harlem Productions and it’s offshoot All things Harlem, and initiator of The Campaign to end the New Jim Crow; Chino Hardin, field trainer and community organizer for the human justice think tank Center for NU Leadership; Susan Tipograph, criminal defense attorney of almost 40 years who used to be the representative to the NY Chapter of National Lawyers Guild and Charles Sabba, artist and active-duty NJ police lieutenant.

Lech Sean Szporer is an interdisciplinary artist, organizer, and musician focused on the interplay between art, social change, public scholarship, and community history. He is co-founder and director of Give Kids Your Instruments, a 501c3 nonprofit that augment music and arts education for kids in lower income communities. A graduate of The New School, Lech also has a lifetime of street knowledge. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.



from December 16, 2015 to January 03, 2016
Panel Discussion: Friday , December 18th, 2015. 7-9pm.

Opening Reception on 2015-12-16 from 18:00 to 21:00


Lech Szporer

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