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John and June Allcott Gallery: Andrew Ellis Johnson, Somewhere Over the Border

February 10 @ 8:00 am - March 8 @ 5:00 pm

Black and white image that appears to be a water-damaged school group photograph with blurred and smudged image of a row of 10 plus seated kindergartners and 3 standing teachers with a darkened hint of school desks and chairs in the background. The image seems to bleach out towards the right and children become mere outlines. Odd chains seem to hang from the ceiling above the children's heads. The image evokes horror films, monsters, and dark, hidden corners.

Through image and form across a variety of media, tactics and disciplines, Johnson explores social and political issues and injustices, wrestling with boundaries between aesthetic, political and moral orders. He treats representation — not as a hermetic mimetic pictorial tradition —but as an agency to awaken and combat torpor. Exhibition topics have included: the Haitian grass roots movement; homelessness; predatory economics; hemispheric hegemonies; unabated sowing of land mines; crises in the Middle East; cultural eclipses; the visibility and invisibility of communication; consequences of war and violence; and meditations on labor and myth. Venues for his work have included museums, galleries, electronic arts and video festivals, public collaborations, conferences, books and journals in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Somewhere Over the Border examines the state of statelessness that defines ‘refugee’. Refugees are not born but created out of dire circumstances typically resulting from systemic exploitation, economic destitution, and the upheavals of war and famine. The displaced are frequently portrayed as stripped of culture, connection, profession and the ability to care for each other or themselves. These works depict migrants in their strength-possessing a past and dreaming a future.

Admission: Free
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm

Image credit: The ICEman Cometh, 2018


February 10 @ 8:00 am
March 8 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:


elin o’Hara slavick


John and June Allcott Gallery
Hanes Art Center, 115 S Columbia Street
CHAPEL HILL, NC 27599 United States
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