Terry Hardy, 876 Days (The Border Bed) Installation
Gallery director Lisa Alembik tackles a pretty enormous concept with her latest group show, “Hello Liberty,” at Agnes Scott’s Dalton Gallery. Between the upcoming election—with its tired arguments about immigration—and continual civil liberty abuses in Myanmar and China, the idea of liberty has lost some of its salience. “Hello Liberty” attempts to revive the discussion of liberty and its role in both current politics and our personal lives.
Dark horse Terry Hardy stole the show. Hardy’s installation, 876 Days (The Border Bed), consists of a double bed—dressed in crisp white linens, sawed completely in half, and divided through the middle by a wall of eroded metal. The wall blocks all physical contact between each side. Though the political reference to immigration rings loud and clear, it doesn’t overshadow Hardy’s personal experience with partners directly affected by the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Compared to Hardy, ex-Atlantan Hope Hilton‘s installation, Walk with me: Georgia, hit a personal note through a very different approach. She invited the viewer to write a note describing a walk through Atlanta and pin it to a board. This subtle reminder of one’s liberties ran the fine line between earnest and trite.
On the less intimate end of the spectrum, Fahamu Pecou demonstrated bravado in several “alternative” posters for politicians from Hilary Clinton to George Bush. In comparison with Pecou’s usual rigor, though, the approach seemed a little too easy. Suellen Parker‘s photographs of post-racial clay figures were lovely, but a little predictable. Based on what I’ve seen her accomplish, I expected a bit more. Meanwhile, Cecelia Kane‘s admirably offbeat Liberty Cape provided some welcome relief. Her haphazard mix of fabrics—worthy of any aging hippie—added a warm reminder of a less apathetic political times.
“Hello Liberty” bites off a little more than it can chew, but, all in all, the show definitely has something for everyone. With a long roster of hefty resumes, the talent is there, but the merits of each piece becomes lost in the body count. If you are planning to attend the show, make sure you allow yourself ample time to wade through its offerings.
“Hello Liberty” will be on exhibit at The Dalton Gallery of Agnes Scott College through Sun. Nov. 23.