Carolyn Sorter and Michael A. Morris, “Co- Re-Creating Spaces,” at CentralTrak (2012-13)

What can art do about the global financial crisis? About political corruption? Or the environment? With traditional mediums the answer usually lands somewhere between not much and nothing, unless, of course, you want to talk about propaganda (which belongs to another conversation). Thankfully, “Co- Re-Creating Spaces” at CentralTrak, co-curated by Carolyn Sorter and Michael A. Morris, demonstrates plenty of lively responses and possibilities to such challenges.

“Co- Re-Creating Spaces” principally offers video and new media works, as well as conceptual collaborations. These modes of art lend themselves to social commentary and criticism more easily than static objects. A few notable works include Yevgeniy Fiks, Olga Kopenkina and Alexandra Lerman’s “Reading Lenin With Corporations,” Martha Colburn’s “Triumph of the Wild,” and eteam’s “100 meters Behind the Future.” Fiks, Kopenkina and Lerman’s video follows employees of investment banks and financial institutions reading Linen’s “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism” (1917), along with artists and cultural practitioners. The resulting exchanges do not ring as simplistic reductions, rather informed and timely dialogue. Colburn’s video re-imagines our history through our violence towards nature, but in this account nature, both disturbingly and humorously, fights back. And eteam’s work is an interactive live film that’s shot and acted as you experience it driving around town. It plays upon the fidelity of time and image through mediums real and virtual.

This show is really a national and international event. Its conceptual genesis can be traced back to Oliver Ressler and Gregory Sholette’s co-curated show, “It’s the Political Economy, Stupid,” which premiered in New York earlier this year at The Austrian Cultural Forum New York. Sorter and Morris have taken this confrontation with the global economy and opened it up to other critical concerns and considerations, and they’ve contributed much to DFW’s artistic and cultural landscape in the process.

—Andy Amato, PhD

Andy Amato is a Dallas-based artist, writer and teacher

(This originally appeared in Arts+Culture Magazine)

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