In the wake of the 2018 midterm elections, ICP’s new exhibition For Freedoms: Where Do We Go From Here? explores the role of art and visual representation in American civic life through the work of the For Freedoms collective.
The exhibition features work from their 50 State Initiative—composed of a network of over 300 artists and 200 institutional partners—which featured concurrent exhibitions, art installations, and public programs as well as a nationwide artist-designed billboard campaign in all 50 states including DC and Puerto Rico, in the lead up to the midterm elections. Also central to the 50 State Initiative is the collective’s series of photographs that re-envision American artist Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings—depicting freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear, as articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union address—which will be on the view for the first time. For Freedoms’ stylized scenes of the everyday reference Rockwell’s iconic style while bringing new, more inclusive representations of the country to the discussion of our core values. Members of For Freedoms will be in residence at the ICP Museum, which will serve as the collective’s headquarters for the duration of the exhibition.
“The ICP Museum show marks the first time that audiences will be able to view the 50 State Initiative and Four Freedoms images displayed side-by-side as a full series,” says Mark Lubell, Executive Director of the International Center of Photography. “We’re pleased that the ICP Museum will serve as an active space in which members of For Freedoms, nonprofits, and the public are invited to discuss the importance of civic engagement and to develop educational programming based on the project.”
For Freedoms: Where Do We Go From Here? is organized by Ava Hess, exhibitions department manager, in collaboration with For Freedoms. Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection is curated by Erin Barnett, director of exhibitions and collections, and Claartje van Dijk, assistant curator, collections.
For Freedoms: Where Do We Go From Here? has been made possible by the generous support of the ICP Exhibitions Committee.
Additional exhibition support is provided by the Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts, Inc. and, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
ABOUT FOR FREEDOMS
Founded in 2016 by artists Hank Willis Thomas, Eric Gottesman, and others, For Freedoms is a collective of artists and a platform for creative civic engagement, discourse, and direct action. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941)—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms’ exhibitions, installations, and public programs use art to deepen public discussions on civic issues and core values, and to advocate for equality, dialogue, and civic participation. As a nexus between art, politics, commerce, and education, For Freedoms aims to inject anti-partisan, critical thinking that fine art requires into the political landscape through programming, exhibitions, and public artworks. In 2018, For Freedoms launched the 50 State Initiative: the largest creative collaboration in US history.