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What We Have Within

On view October 14, 2014 - January 9, 2015
By appointment only, Mon-Fri from 9am to 5pm

Please call 202-370-0151

Opening Reception: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 5:30pm

Organization of American States
1889 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006


Possibilities to externalize and communicate essential aspects of our psyche, beliefs, affiliations, or sexual orientations are increasing in modern societies, where freedom of expression, whether consensus or dissent, is a fundamental right. The artists represented in this exhibition promote this right, breaking with convention and reinforcing the desire for free and genuine expression, in some cases even as a means of transformation.

This exhibition explores the externalization of these messages, testing and sustaining freedom of speech, questioning dogmas and prejudices.

This selection of six series includes a range of artistic approaches, from public representation, as with Barnett, Birnbaum and Allen, to those more intimate and private, as in the works of Handal, Keenan, and Paul.

From the series: TransCuba by Mariette Pathy Allen (American, b. Egypt), Not in Your Face by Susan Barnett (American, b. Orange, New Jersey), Sisters of the Commonwealth by Meg Birnbaum, (American, b. Somerville, Massachusetts), Female Masking by Daniel Handal (Honduran, b. Tegucigalpa), Look at Me David Lykes Keenan, (American, b. Detroit, Michigan), and Insects of Suriname by Dominique Paul (Canadian, b. Montreal, Qu├ębec).


Ryan, Santa Fe (2013) from the series Look at Me by David Lykes Keenan

Laura at Home, Havana (2012-14) from the series TransCuba by Mariette Pathy Allen

Sisters of the Eternal Indulgency, Public Access TV (2013) from the series Sisters of the Commonwealth by Meg Birnbaum

Jovina in her Kitchen, Monrovia (2008) from the Female Masking series by Daniel Handal

The Insects of Surinam 22 (2014) from the series Insects of Suriname by Dominique Paul

From the series Not in Your Face by Susan Barnett