The works and the artists in the exhibition address both the insidious and benign ways in which Western aesthetic traditions pervade. Named after a new classic of architectural criticism by Fabiola Lopez-Duran, the show begins where this work’s thesis ends—at the lasting effects on a region’s built environment of cultural utopian propaganda. The foothold of Eurocentrism on American culture is arguably no less acute now than it was two centuries ago. The difference is a mounting awareness among artists of the potential to usurp it.
Such was Terry Adkins’ ambition in filming the alienlike Egyptian obelisks of Rome in his 2012 video on view in the gallery. These obelisks, their peaks capped by Catholic finials, exist in an absurdist limbo, poised between their reuse for Judeo-Christian urban planning and Adkins’ callback to their African origins. This is not Adkins' rejection of Western aesthetic tradition but rather a transgression against its inevitability. The work simultaneously employs and mocks the social capital of its source material and prompts the viewer to do the same; the artist’s work is a new propaganda positioned against that of Western Imperialism.
Other works included in the exhibition employ a similar tactic, reviving the theoretical dead-ends of medieval, classical and modernist Western traditions in a speculative display of future art history.