‘The Phantom Of Liberty’ At RISD Museum

There is a lot to like in the provocative new exhibition, ‘The Phantom of Liberty,’ open now at the RISD Museum.

The Phantom of Liberty presents works by more than 40 artists, designers, and collectives in the RISD Museum collection, offering the museum’s broadest exhibition of postwar art and design to date. These works—representing a range of media, including painting, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, drawings, and photographs—reflect various notions of “freedom” as being elusive or even imaginary ideals in contemporary life.

Seen here is ‘Pride Dress’ by Liz Collins (RISD BFA ’91, MFA ’99) executed in 2003 for the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ collection for Griz. From the wall text:

I wanted people to think about the American flag and to see it defaced on the ground walked on, as a way to express my pain surrounding the contemporaneous war in Iraq and to consider the ramifications of patriotism gone awry.

Take time to check out the silkscreened wallpaper at the entrance to the exhibition. (See picture below. Unfortunately, my camera did not register the colors quite properly, but this is close.) ‘Maximum Security’ by Elizabeth Duffy looks like it features all those pastoral elements we remember from Grandma’s house, but closer inspection reveals, barbed wire, guard towers, and our very own ACI! (Attention A.T. Wall.) This is the Rhode Island installment of the series.

The neo-Gothic prison seen here in this paper is part of the structures of labor, power, trade, and exchange that developed during the Industrial Revolution, alongside textile mills, schools, and hospitals. By inserting the ACI [Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston, Rhode Island] into this pastoral toile, I point out the malignant system that undermines our common humanity. . . .

Save the date, May 17: Conversations with participating artists and designers, along with Museum staff, offer insight into work on view.

No admission is charged to museum on Sundays

Runs through December 30, RISD Museum, 20 North Main Street, (directions)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Providence Daily Dose