June 26–September 27, 2020
Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery
Chicago-based artist Bethany Collins (b. 1984) explores the historic intersection of language and racism in her multimedia practice. She often manipulates and reprints existing written documents—such as the leading daily newspaper in Birmingham, Alabama, during the 1960s or the U.S. Department of Justice’s report on the Ferguson, Missouri, police department—to critique the accuracy and completeness of official records. Collins’s artist book America: A Hymnal (2017) features 100 different versions of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” written since Rev. Samuel F. Smith published the original lyrics in 1831. The multiple reinterpretations of this patriotic anthem—most in support of a particular political or social cause—offer opportunities for reflection on what it means to be an American, a particularly resonant topic during a presidential election year.
Organized by the Frist Art Museum