This weekend XYandZ Gallery will open "Postracializationalism," a new exhibition by Nate Young about how we think and construct ideas. In the show, which includes a series of drawings, videos, and a collaborative performance with poet Chaun Webster, Young sets up a scenario for the viewer in which he says that "they begin to attempt to find meaning in a place where there is none." Celebrities like Kanye West, Charlton Heston, and Michael Jackson are juxtaposed with California license plates, forcing the viewer to play an associative game between the text and the image. "I hope the meaning is and is not there," he says. "In the end, the relationship between the subject matter (mostly black, high-profile males), and the content (which I understand to be this associative game I have set up), relate in a sense that may be similar structurally to the way in which we essentialize our identity within culture." The work isn't about race, Young says, but race is the subject matter he uses to get to what the work is about. "I'm trying to be pretty intentional about the way I set things up," he says, "but I do purposefully use a system that is not arbitrary in its actual functionality to create a situation where meaning is arbitrary." The opening reception is from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, September 10.
Sept. 10-Oct. 7, 2011