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Sanctuary City: Three Artists Explore the Refugee Experience in New York City is an exhibition that looks at three artists— Shimon Attie, Catalina Antonio Granados, and Zac Hacmon — who investigate the complicated, nuanced, and unique experience of being a refugee in the United States.
Through building personal relationships, each of the exhibiting artists was able to produce thoughtful artworks that underscore the intricate situation of the “refugee status.” Zac Hacmon spent over a year working with RDJ Refugee Shelter in Harlem, which is currently the only shelter in NYC specifically for asylum seekers and refugees who are experiencing homelessness, where he created listening workshop with the residents and paid them for their participation. Shimon Attie’s large-scale video portraits of asylees are beautiful and direct representations of people who have faced adversity and erasure around their own identity and status as citizens in the United States. Catalina Antonio Granados built a replica of a NYC courtroom designed from the imaginations of refugees and their experiences during the Credible Fear Interview. The individual experiences of these three artists—two of whom are immigrants, and one of whom is a child of immigrants—has undoubtedly informed the nature and research of the work they create.
Presented in unison, the multi-disciplinary and varied artworks touch on the extremely complex undergoing of being a refugee in America today, highlighting the difficulties while at the same time celebrating the accomplishments. In a time of political unrest and war, looking at the experience of refugees in our own city provides a unique educational and emotional opportunity to understand society a little bit more.
This exhibition is curated by Arden Sherman with assistance by Zac Hacmon as part of the Goldberg Visiting Curator Initiative. Generous support granted through the Hunter College Department of Art and Art History.
SPRING 2022 GALLERY HOURS: THURS, FRI, & SAT: 12-5pm