“Singing in Unison” Exhibition


poster for “Singing in Unison” Exhibition
[Image: Lauren Bon "Artists Need to Create On the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy" (2021) neon, 19 x 46 in.]

This event has ended.

Curated by Phong Bui and Cal McKeever

TOTAH and Rail Curatorial Projects present Singing in Unison: Artists Need to Create On the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, a group exhibition unfolding across multiple New York City venues, curated by Phong Bui and Cal McKeever. This is the first time the gallery has collaborated and hosted an external curatorial project.

Having witnessed two ruptures — the pandemic and the ongoing crisis of our social and political condition, implemented in part by those who deploy technology and social media to create chaos and anxiety for self-serving purposes — the Brooklyn Rail responded by swiftly launching the New Social Environment (NSE) daily Zoom lunchtime conversation series. The NSE has now completed over 560 episodes and has reached a viewership of more than two million since the first program on March 17th, 2020. It cultivates thoughtful discussions of pertinent topics in the arts, humanities, and sciences and values the amplification of “social intimacy”—in contrast to “social distancing”—through culture. The NSE, like the Rail itself, is freely available to all and aspires to help heal our social and political ills through the arts and the humanities.

As an extension of this important communal action, the Rail now feels a great sense of urgency to create an exhibition that will unfold over a period of several months and will bring together many different kinds of practices, styles, and voices. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, this timely exhibition is a celebration of hope for the future, in a similar spirit to the critically-praised monumental exhibition Come Together: Surviving Sandy in 2013. The unifying idea behind this wide-ranging and inclusive exhibition is suggested by its title, Singing in Unison: Artists Need to Create On the Same Scale That Society Has the Capacity to Destroy.

This exhibition is inspired by an underlying philosophy that runs through American history and advocates for “the art of joining” as a sociocultural process that can mediate the disequilibrium within American politics and culture. Spread across eleven venues, the exhibition will combine works of art made by artists who were formally trained with works by artists who were self-taught, including incarcerated artists and artists who struggle with mental illness. Among the participating artists, many urgent themes and topics such as gender, ethnicity, and the limits of knowledge will be prominently featured.

As an integral part of the Rail’s curatorial vision, which emphasizes cross-pollination of the arts and humanities, there will also be public programming, including panel discussions with artists, historians and curators, readings of poetry and fiction, film screenings, music and dance performances, along with cooking performances led by Rirkrit Tiravanjit and Tomas Vu to be organized in each location throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Each venue of the exhibition will be dedicated to a friend the Rail has recently lost as a tribute and form of living memory to their lasting contributions. TOTAH’s iteration remembers Dan Graham (1942 - 2022).



from June 28, 2022 to August 12, 2022

Opening Reception on 2022-06-28 from 18:00 to 20:00

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