About the exhibition

The exhibition will take place at the James Gallery September-November 2022.

With intensifying systemic inequalities around the world in the context of a global pandemic, accelerating climate change, an escalating refugee crisis and rising race-based violence, the idea of any singular, national “we” has never been more contested. Toxic conceptions of “us vs. them,” a doubling down of “me and mine,” underlie a global ethos of racialized nationalism. At the same time, we are in a generative yet tenuous time of community organizing, protest movements, mutual support, and intersectionality. Both responses stem from the language and feeling of injury and longing. When the notion of home is unstable, what are our options? As Paul Chan said, “Is there a direction home that doesn’t point backward?”

There is the possibility of “we.” How much should we invest in ideas of the “we”? How can we re-imagine nation, tribe, community? What practices of listening, sharing, and making could be enacted across varying visions of community, decolonization and self-determination? How does our complicity become constitutive of community as we imagine it? How do national identities shape our everyday lives? Which borders are permeable and which are sustainable? Which injuries are bearable and which are not? To quote Homi Bhabha, “When is a risk to life also a risk to living??"


Jacki Apple

Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.

Maria Hupfield

Claudia Rankine and John Lucas

Kameelah Janan Rasheed

Kimberly Tate

Mercedes Teixido

Hong-an Truong

Urban Bush Women

Mariana Valencia

Curated by the The Racial Imaginary Institute James Gallery Curatorial Collaborative, this exhibition is created from a three year artist residency and partnership with The Racial Imaginary Institute. The exhibition is one of an array of projects including a seminar, public programs, and symposium at the James Gallery and beyond.

Curated by The Racial Imaginary Institute

"All Opposing Players" July 23 – August 27, 2022, David Kordansky Gallery

A group exhibition curated by The Racial Imaginary Institute, featuring works by Lotte Andersen, Ed Fornieles, and Shaun Leonardo. The exhibition will be on view July 23 through August 27, 2022. An opening reception will take place from 6 – 8 PM on Friday, July 22. As part of the exhibition, on Saturday, July 23 at 11 AM, Leonardo will present a live workshop that incorporates audience participation to investigate how platforms of discussion may be rethought and possibly reinvented.

All Opposing Players explores the complex phenomenon of nationalism in the work of Andersen, Fornieles, and Leonardo, who utilize game-playing to explore the dangerous and the utopian potential of the “we.” The artists’ objects, videos, and performances address these concerns on a variety of scales, ranging from the deeply personal to the outwardly global, sometimes in challenging and contradictory ways. This project is situated within The Racial Imaginary Institute’s (TRII) wider research into nationalism, and poses questions such as: How much should we invest in ideas of the “we”? And how can we reimagine nation, tribe, and community?

Founded in 2016 by the author Claudia Rankine, The Racial Imaginary Institute seeks to change the way we imagine race in the United States and internationally by lifting up and connecting the work of artists, writers, knowledge producers, and activists with audiences seeking thoughtful, innovative conversations and experiences. The members of TRII believe that “the work of defining and changing culture is all of ours.” Institute members curating this exhibition include Makayla Bailey, Samantha Ozer, and Simon Wu.

More information about this exhibition can be found here.