(image courtesy the Illuminator)

Engaging with our bizarre political reality requires a correspondingly bizarre level of stamina. Simply to process current events demands an elephantine memory for seemingly insane occurrences and a serious ability to absorb outrage. Everything feels huge. In fractious political moments, it’s interesting to see how different artists respond, whether they respond at all, and if they do, where it’s with oblique resistance or explicit manifestos.

The Illuminator is an art collective that describes its mission as one that “disrupts the patterns of everyday life, and embodies the social and political transformations for which the occupy movement/99% movement continues to fight.” They are one of the participants in, and helped produce, the potent response to this moment conceived by Nina Felshin and Lenore Malen, with projection designer Eamonn Farrell. If this latest live projection event, State of Emergency,” is hardly subtle, that’s the point. It’s a poetic, creative rejoinder consonant with its unsubtle times, an appropriately monumental intervention in the shrieking wall-to-wall news coverage of the shrieking president shrieking about his wall. Occupying the intersection of Prince and Bowery, it features 60 short video clips from 60 artists and filmmakers, including Doug Ashford, Gary Indiana, Martha Rosler, and Pussy Riot. Some moments require not a whisper, but a huge projection at a busy intersection, with a multitude of voices confirming and amplifying what we know: this is an emergency. 

When: Thursday, November 16, 7pm
Where: The intersection of Prince and Bowery (Lower East Side, Manhattan)

More info here

Laila Pedro is a writer and scholar based in New York. She holds a PhD in French from the Graduate Center, CUNY, and is currently at work on a book tracing artistic connections between Cuba, France, and...