At a time of heightened uncertainty, division, and geopolitical tensions, I am you, you are too foregrounds works from the Walker’s collections that explore contemporary life through themes of citizenship and belonging, borders and barriers, and ways in which everyday life informs our understanding of ourselves. Bringing together a diverse, multigenerational, and international group of artists, the exhibition questions how we memorialize the past and understand the social, geographic, and political structures that shape us.
The show’s title is taken from I M U U R 2 (2013), a room-scaled installation by Danh Vo that considers how collected objects, such as knickknacks and souvenirs, can communicate who we are. Monuments and shared public space play a key role for Francis Alÿs, Song Dong, and Robert Longo, whose works examine the relationship between the individual and the state. Chantal Akerman and Julie Mehretu reflect upon shifting geographical borders and changing political systems, while Postcommodity and Wolfgang Tillmans reference recent debates on the Mexico-US border and Brexit, respectively. While some artists draw on recognizable places and known stories, others turn to abstraction to elicit themes of the place of the home, the city, and national belonging.
In the exhibition’s final gallery, a selection of works from the collection hang against wallpapers by Yto Barrada, Yoko Ono, and Adam Pendleton, forming unexpected juxtapositions across generations, geographies, and media. Seen together, these pieces chart ways that artists have challenged prevailing systems, including gender, race, and sexual orientation. In presenting a broad range of artistic approaches, I am you, you are too draws out timely questions of national identity, shifting political borders, and international and intercultural dialogue.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website. More information about the exhibition is available on the museum website.