Even 44 years later, this collage — made on a New York stock exchange newspaper page — feels relevant as ever. Douglas, who has always been known to unveil ugly truths about racism and corruption, has been at it long before Black Lives Matter. Featuring 70 artworks by 30 artists, the exhibition looks into hidden power, government mistrust and conspiracy with artwork made between and The s sparked the beginning of conspiracy theories around the John F Kennedy assassination to the Vietnam war, and from there, this exhibition looks at the growing tension between American citizens and their government. It all began in , when Eklund stumbled across a interview between two artists, New York-based John Miller and the late Los Angeles-based artist Mike Kelley, who longed for an exhibition about art and conspiracy theories.
How Conspiracy Theories Shape Art
From UFOs to Data Leaks: How Conspiracy Theories Inspire Artists - ELEPHANT
Its regard for the violence that conspiracy believers may commit feels especially urgent this week, after a terrorist who was convinced George Soros was masterminding a national Muslim takeover walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and assassinated 11 mostly elderly Jews. And its suggestion that conspiracy is the animus of American public life — and, thus, a natural subject for American artists — lands with particular force as we all swim in the daily flood of half-truths and dubious theories from the First Twitter Account. They understand its baffling flights into unreason; they see past the wild connections to the human frailty that inspires them. For most of the 30 artists here, any common view of the present is a nostalgic fiction; in place of shared action are suspicion and despair.
Since the mid-twentieth century, conspiracy has pervaded our collective worldview, shaped by events such as the assassination of John F. Everything Is Connected examines how artists from the s to the present have explored both the covert operations of power and the mutual suspicion between governments and their citizens. Whether they uncover webs of deceit hidden in the public record or dive headlong into paranoid fever dreams, these artists use their work to take a powerful and proactive stance against the political corruption, consumerism, bureaucracy, and media manipulation that are hallmarks of contemporary life.
Buy Issue The book presented a picture of an entire society intoxicated by suspicion, of a mass delirium stretching all the way from the squalid hippie hash dens of Westbourne Grove to Downing Street and the Oval Office. Its title? Indeed, blanket internet surveillance and data farming have created a new reality in which Orwellian ideas of a society under total observation actually seem scarily apposite. These developments have not, of course, been lost on the art world.