I Shouted My Laugher to the Stars
June 9 – July 16, 2022
Aicon Contemporary
35 Great Jones Street
New York, NY 10012

Making oneself known can often be an act of great bravery and defiance. In a world that has forced many to the margins, claiming space becomes an act of resistance. The refusal to accept this displacement has allowed artists to put down roots and flower in places which are often alien and strange. There is power in making oneself and one’s story known. One is no longer a victim of the gaze but rather in control of it, directing and steering it. By shouting our laughter to the stars, we declare our existence to the universe, allowing our full selves to be seen through the joy and sadness of life.

The show’s title comes from Franz Fanon’s seminal 1952 book Black Skin, White Masks, which argues for one’s right to take up space unapologetically and claim their right to be, despite external factors limiting development. The artists in this show embrace their individual displacement, and create powerful and resonant work while embracing their connection to, and deserved place in, the universe.

Presenting a mix of multiple disciplines including textile and film, Christopher Joshua Benton (SMACT ’23) offers the viewer multiple access points and scales to engage with his work. The vibrancy and humble narratives behind the materials share stories of power, labor and hope. Benton works closely with local communities and neighborhoods to instigate collaboration and explore how the working class uses cultural innovation to stage resistance to postcolonial and neoliberal forces.