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Free As Air & Water

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009

The exhibition takes Peter Cooper's quote that "Education should be Free as Air and Water" as a starting point and addresses the spirit of this statement by recognizing the difference between then (1859) and now (2009). Today, air, water, land, an all are all subordinated to the logic of privatization impacting the environment in challenging ways. As the past few decades have witnessed how global power has systematically distributed the world's resources in unfair ways, concerns such as human rights become increasingly tied to issues involving land, space and environmental justice.

Free as Air and Water poses these questions for our contemporary moment linking a broad set of issues such as public access to resources, political ecology, and governmentality within a group exhibition that features a diverse array of artistic operations and tactics. Featuring projects that are rigorous and poetic in its conceptual processes, the exhibition provides a needed density when one discusses the role of art in relation to ecology.

Free as Air and Water inaugurated the 41 Cooper Gallery's exhibition program at the New Academic Building in September 2009, commemorating Cooper Union's 150th anniversary. The building designed by Thom Mayne and the architectural firm, Morphosis, inaugurates the first green academic laboratory building in NYC. A catalog will be will be available to purchase after the exhibition. Please contact the Cooper Union School of Art or check the website for additional information.

Participating artists: Allora & Calzadilla, Amy Balkin, Robert Bordo, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Ross Cisneros, Amy Franceschini and Free Soil, Andrea Geyer, Hans Haacke, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Runo Lagomarsino, Andrea Polli, Marjetica Potrč, Simon Starling, Temporary Services, Oscar Tuazon, Lidwien Van de Ven

Curated by Saskia Bos and Steven Lam

Date: Now through October 27. Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 1–6pm

Location: 41 Cooper Gallery
The Cooper Union School of Art, 41 Cooper Square (3rd Ave. b/w 6th & 7th Streets), Lower Level 1

For more information: The Cooper Union

This project was funded in part by generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Robert Lehman Foundation and Duggal Visual Solutions.

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