The Ford Foundation is launching a new gallery with a cause: social justice.
Located inside the organization’s landmarked headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, the Ford Foundation Gallery will open on March 5, kicking off a year-long thematic focus on “Utopian Imagination.”
The foundation’s addition of the 1,900 square-foot gallery space pushes its core mission of supporting art that addresses inequality one step further by providing a physical place for that work — a vital component in fostering community discussion.
“The Ford Foundation Gallery is the latest reflection of our deep commitment to the arts, from supporting trailblazing dance and theater around the country to investing in transformative artists around the world who push boundaries and challenge the status quo,” said Ford Foundation president Darren Walker in an announcement. “Arts and creative expression have played an indelible role in building social justice movements. We’re thrilled to open the doors of this special space, a forum for artists to experiment and create a vibrant and necessary dialogue with the public.”
The gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “Perilous Bodies,” presents work from multiple artists — including Otobong Nkanga, Tiffany Chung, Barthélémy Toguo, Mahwish Chisty and Hannah Brontë — that addresses themes of oppression through photography, sculpture, installation, video and performance art.
Curated by Jaishri Abichandani and Natasha Becker, the exhibition will also include a special “spoken word opera” performance (which mixes spoken word poetry, storytelling, music and movement) by artist Vanessa German on opening night.
“’Perilous Bodies’ explores the inhumanity and injustice created by divisions of gender, race, class, and ethnicity,” said the gallery’s director, Lisa Kim, in a statement. “The artists in the exhibition offer a raw and honest look at the issues we must address head-on to ensure dignity for all.”
“Perilous Bodies” runs through May 11.
Top Image: "The Weight of Scars," 2015. Otobong Nkanga. Image courtesy of the artist and In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc, Private Collection.