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Lorraine O'Grady

Cutting Out The New York Times, 1977/2017, detail

Lorraine O'Grady's Cutting Out The New York Times, 1977/2017, included in The Times at Flag Art Foundation, New York.

The FLAG Art Foundation presents The Times from June 1 – August 11, 2017, on its 9th floor gallery. The exhibition uses The New York Times as its point of departure and features over 80 artists, artist duos, and collectives who use the “paper of record” to address and reframe issues that impact our everyday lives.

Reading The New York Times is embedded in many people’s daily routines. This chronicle of geopolitical and local issues, tragedies, human interest stories, and trends in culture, serves as both a source of inspiration and medium for artists to assert their perspectives on the state of the world. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, where news media was deemed the “the enemy of the people,” and The New York Times directly attacked and labeled as “fake news,” FLAG began developing an exhibition examining how seminal artists, such as Robert Gober, Ellsworth Kelly, Lorraine O’Grady, Fred Tomaselli, and others, who have used and been inspired by this newspaper in their practice.

As its title suggests, The Times focuses on works on the paper itself, and includes drawings, paintings, photography, and collage, as well as video, podcasts, and performance. Some artists insert themselves directly in the physical document of the paper, while others are interested in the seriality of the newspaper as a means of marking time, investigating its coded language, or rewriting history. The works address a range of issues: gender, race, police violence and capital punishment, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the global financial crisis of 2007-08, September 11th, presidential elections, etc.

Made over 26 successive Sundays between June 5 – November 20, 1977, Lorraine O’Grady’s Cutting Out The New York Times, 1977/2017, examines language, typeface, and coincidence, transforming “found” language from the newspaper into resonant poetry.