Nick Cave, (American, b. 1959), Drive-By, 2011, Blu-ray Disc, 16 minutes, Gift of Nilani Trent. 2019.12 © Nick Cave
September 18, 2021 – May 8, 2022

Art Encounters

Ally is a Verb

What is an ally? Is it someone who sympathizes with the struggles of marginalized groups? Is it a moniker they add to their identity to let others know they are in favor of a cause? The word ally comes from the Latin word alligare, meaning to bind. It is an act. It is a verb. Being an ally is a commitment to walking alongside those who are experiencing oppression and shouldering their burden. It is a commitment to listening and de-centering yourself from the issue. Allyship is not about playing spokesperson or hero, but rather about being an advocate that extends their privilege in order to amplify the voice of the marginalized in their own words.

In tandem with the 2021 Rollins College Common Read theme, activism & allyship, this exhibition examines the deeply personal work of artists belonging to marginalized communities facing different forms of discrimination. Works by Nick Cave, Jeffrey Gibson, Cobi Moules, and Yoshitomo Nara consider the experiences of racism, homophobia, transphobia, war and globalization from places of vulnerability and anxiety.

This exhibition invites visitors to listen to the lived experiences of those in the community and share their own through oral recordings via a sound booth located within the gallery.

Nara Yoshitomo, (Japanese, b. 1959), STAY, 2011, Acrylic on board, The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond. 2013.34.90 © Yoshitomo Nara. Image courtesy of Pace Gallery
Jeffrey Gibson, (Choctaw/Cherokee, American, b. 1972), I Don't Belong To You, You Don't Belong To Me, 2016, Glass beads, tin jingles, artificial sinew, acrylic felt, The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond. 2017.6.29. Image courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California

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