Ethics in a World of Strangers: Nirveda Alleck and Eric van HoveApril 25 – June 11, 2017
Richard Taittinger Gallery is please to present Ethics in a World of Strangers, an exhibition of works by Nirveda Alleck and Eric van Hove, curated by Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi. Against the backdrop of resurgent nativism, nationalism, and xenophobia that currently outline the global political landscape, it asks the question: what are the values of universal fraternity, compassion, and worldliness? In the climate of travel bans, restricted movement, and border control, in the United States and elsewhere, the ethical imperative of acknowledging the humanity of others is particularly pertinent. The cultural theorist and philosopher Anthony Kwame Appiah describes the inevitability of parochial obligations to family and country. Yet he also insists on non-filial obligations which inscribe our membership in the global community in what he refers to as “Ethics in a World of Strangers.” Whereas cosmopolitanism might reproduce utopia and privilege, Appiah suggests that its true value is a moral economy of tolerance, openness, and coexistence. Artistic contemporaneity demands a cosmopolitan commitment to working across cultures and national boundaries and a concomitant appreciation of diversity and difference. This moral compass anchors this exhibition. Through their individual artistic practices, backgrounds and experiences, Alleck and van Hove make a persuasive argument in this season of anomie. Their works are presented as a dialogue.