Trustman Art Gallery


Guns, Race and Immigration, an exhibition by Jordan Kessler, James Montford and Yu-Wen Wu

September 8 - October 6

Opening Reception:
Thursday, September 8, 5-7 p.m.

‘Jolt’ was mentioned in a recent Art New England Article.

Simmons University presents Jolt: Guns Race and Immigration, a three-person exhibition of photographs, mixed media and installation by Jordan Kessler, James Montford and Yu-Wen Wu, from September 8 – October 6, 2016 at the Trustman Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor, Main College Building, 300 the Fenway in Boston. A reception with the artists will be held on Thursday, September 8 from 5-7 P.M. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Jolt is curated by Trustman Gallery Director B. Lynch.

In an election year the American psyche is tangling with its better and worst selves. The fever dream that besets our society every four years looks under rocks and reaches for the stars. The artists in Jolt: Guns, Race and Immigration peel back the onion on three of the most perplexing topics of the election cycle.

Jordan Kessler’s Lead and Silver photographic series explores facets of gun culture using absence. His images of perforated targets and gun cases lacking their armaments create formally beautiful photographs. These images forcefully remind us of incipient violence and also the veneration of skill and enduring individualism that ensconces the second amendment in our constitution. Contemporary gun cases are business-like and made of industrial materials; older guns reside in silken cases, suggesting reliquaries to destroying force. The paper targets such as Creased and Perforated #14 call to mind the stars on the American flag, but the ghost digital image of a face with a cocked gun pointing directly at us, reminds the viewer of our peril.

The Planetarium of Black Indian Constellations is an ongoing series of mixed media works by James Montford. Montford uses improbable imagery of astronauts floating in the vastness of space. The Scout, wearing an abstracted chieftain headdress, drifts at the top of a formally organized picture plane. The geometric shapes — circles, arcs are proportioned in horizontal sections. This orderly, almost architectural cosmos implies the solidity of a Renaissance neo-Platonist construction, yet the tiny blue orb of earth and the un-tethered floating astronaut postulate an uneasy relationship between the ideal and the real. Montford’s use of black, in its many variants of tonality, underlies the constructed universe he presents.

Yu-Wen Wu’s Migration series explores the American dream of a better life, and the harsh necessities that drive immigration with all its perils and promises. Wu uses maps and data to create elegant depictions of Chinese-American immigration patterns. Wu’s video, Migration, is dreamlike and evocative. Her accompanying book, charts, maps and gold-leafed tea leaves describe mathematically and metaphorically the reality of immigration.

The Gallery continues its Lunchtime Lecture Series on Wednesday, September 21 from noon-1:00 with a presentation by Professor of Political Science Ben Cole, who will discuss Elections and Instability, the Mischief of Faction, followed by questions and conversation.

Trustman Art Gallery hours are 10 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 10 AM – 7 PM on Wednesday and Thursday. The gallery is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Kyle Mendelsohn at (617) 521-2268 or find us on Instagram.