Politics in Collage is a series of residencies, publications, discussions, and exhibitions examining complex socio-political issues that contemporary society is contending with, in order to spark meaningful dialogue and inspire deeper engagement.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Collage as a political art form has a particular relevance to today as well as a strong historical context. From its roots in the European anti-facist and Russian revolutionary movements in the early 20th century to its expressions during the U.S. Civil Rights era to its current manifestations in the fight for social justice in South America, collage is used by artists around the world as an impetus for social and political change. Kolaj Magazine has reported on how collage was used to visualize the 2019-2021 Estallido Social in Chile which incidentally birthed a new collage community. In Fall 2021, Kolaj Institute organized a series of residencies in which artists explored the intersection of politics and collage. 

Led by G.E. Vogt, the residencies produced a collection of artworks that debuted at Kolaj Fest New Orleans in 2022 as an exhibition at The Domino. In July 2022, Kolaj Institute released Politics in Collage, a book of artwork, and an Online Exhibition

A third residency is planned for November 2022. 

NEWS & EVENTS

Politics in Collage Residency 2022

A four-week, virtual/online residency with Kolaj Institute in November and December 2022

Deadline to apply: October 16, 2022

During the residency, we will be discussing the history of political collage and important political collage artists, exploring how to curate and exhibit this crucial art form, and, most importantly, challenging ourselves to push our own artistic practice further in the creation of political collage. Artists will hear from a variety of guest speakers specializing in different aspects of this form. Through ongoing online discussions and regular collage exercises in between meetings, artists will learn how to articulate complex political subjects in their work and explore how to inspire engagement with difficult socio-political topics through collage.

ONLINE EXHIBITION & BOOK

Politics in Collage

In a time where the challenges facing us as individuals and communities have grown to seemingly insurmountable levels, further exacerbated by the increasing toxicity of the political climate, artists are using their work to confront these challenges by engaging their viewers in a higher level of discourse. Through a virtual residency, twenty-five artists created collage works examining complex socio-political issues that contemporary society is contending with, in order to spark meaningful dialogue and inspire deeper engagement.

Although the main thread running through Politics in Collage is “political” in its broadest definition, each artist chose specific issues to explore through the medium of collage. Their artwork allows viewers an opportunity to reflect on various forms of racism, ableism, sexism, and xenophobia; the consequences of colonization and capitalism; the effects of contemporary media; and the eco-grief or anxiety associated with climate change. By using collage, a form composed of juxtaposing a variety of disparate elements together, the artists are able to tell nuanced stories about their highly complex topics, inviting the viewers to regard a potentially overwrought issue from a fresh angle.

PROJECT HISTORY

KOLAJ LIVE ONLINE

Politics in Collage Book & Exhibition Launch

JULY 2022

Kolaj Institute was joined by G.E Vogt, and four of the exhibiting artists—Phyllis Famiglietti (Massachusetts, USA), Mary Hope Lee (Phoenix, AZ), Alexander Helmintoller (Carlsbad, CA), Penny Mateer (Pennsylvania, USA), and Amanda Lynch (England, United Kingdom)—in a discussion surrounding the residency, their artwork, and the need for more complex works engaged in political dialogue.

ABOUT KOLAJ LIVE ONLINE
Kolaj LIVE Online is a series of virtual programs in the form of forums, panels, workshops, artist talks, studio visits, and other activities that allow people to come together, learn and talk about collage, and connect in real time to the collage community. Our goal is to bring the community together in a spirit of mutual support and fellowship.

Our Island from the series “Sri Lanka Then And Now” by Gayathiri Kamalakanthan
11.7″x8.5″; found paper, graph paper, tinsel, digital; 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

EXHIBITION

Politics in Collage Exhibition at Kolaj Fest New Orleans

JUNE & JULY 2022

at The Domino in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
14 June-20 July 2022
Opening Reception: 17 June 2022, 7-9PM

Politics in Collage Opening Reception, 7PM to 9PM at The Domino. This event will be an opening reception and book launch for the exhibition, Politics In Collage. Although the main thread running through this exhibition is “political” in its broadest definition, the artists each chose specific issues to explore through the medium of collage. There are examinations of various forms of racism, ableism, sexism, and xenophobia; the consequences of colonization and capitalism; the effects of contemporary media; and the eco-grief or anxiety associated with climate change. By using collage, a form composed of juxtaposing a variety of disparate elements together, the artists are able to tell nuanced stories about their highly complex topics, inviting the viewers to regard a potentially overwrought issue from a fresh angle.

“Collage as an art form, is ideally situated for this political work due to its inherent nature of distilling and juxtaposing various elements from the overload of information and sources we’re exposed to on a regular basis, into one cohesive story or statement. Collage allows us to make sense of increasingly complex and interconnected social & political subjects through this selected juxtaposition”

Liberty by Alexander Helmintoller
digital collage; 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

RESIDENCY

Politics in Collage Residency Round Two

NOVEMBER 2021

Kolaj Institute is pleased to announce the thirteen artists selected to participate in a second Politics in Collage Residency. In four virtual meetings over four weeks and through ongoing, online discussion, artists will examine contemporary social and political issues as shown through collage. Artists will hear from a variety of guest speakers about the historical context of this genre; how to articulate complex political subjects both in their work and in promotions of their work; and explore how we can continue to inspire meaningful engagement with difficult topics through collage.

Alexander Helmintoller (Carlsbad, CA) | Xxavier Carter (Dallas, TX) | Patricia Figueiredo (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) | Lilith Frakes (Ellensburg, WA) | Jenn Arras (New York, NY) | Simone Löhndorf (Lund, Sweden) | Carmen Angela Yandoc (Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, The Philippines) | Mori Anderson Hitchcock (Chester, PA) | Casey Rocheteau (Detroit, MI) | Dawn Conry (Phoenix, AZ) | Cathy Greenhalgh (London, England, United Kingdom) | Amanda Lynch (Castle Cary, Somerset, England) | Neha Luhar-Trice (Jacksonville, FL)

RESIDENCY

Politics in Collage Residency Round One

SEPTEMBER 2021

Kolaj Institute is pleased to announce the twelve artists selected to participate in the Politics in Collage Residency. Collage as a political art form has a particular relevance to today as well as a strong historical context. Artists will hear from a variety of guest speakers about the historical context of this genre; how to articulate complex political subjects both in their work and in promotions of their work; and explore how we can continue to inspire meaningful engagement with difficult topics through collage. Artists will conceptualize and begin work on a piece exploring a political or social subject of their choosing.

Nola Abboud (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England) | Jana Zimmer (Santa Barbara, CA) | Kike Congrains (Lima, Peru) | Phyllis Famiglietti (Brookline, MA) | Mary Hope Lee (Phoenix, AZ) | Jordan Fobbs (Goleta, CA) | Bryan Robertson (Prescott, AZ) | Emily Tironi (Cambridge, NY) | Gayathiri Kamalakanthan (London, England) | Stephanie Todhunter (Medford, MA) | Susana Belen (Thornton, NSW, Australia) | Penny Mateer (Pittsburgh, PA)