The 6th A.I.R. Currents Exhibition: (Due Oct. 13)


January 10 - February 9, 2020 


The sixth biannual CURRENTS exhibition continues A.I.R. Gallery’s mission of exploring timely themes through its open call series. This year's CURRENTS will be curated by Carmen Hermo.


The exhibition will explore the experiences and ramifications of manipulations of reality, or gaslighting, on individuals, communities, and culture. While much attention has been paid to “fake news” and “alternative facts,” further work is necessary to illuminate the social impact of more insidious, everyday deceit, especially on women-identifying people and marginalized groups. Whether in personal relationships, professional or cultural settings, or writ large in our socio-political moment, this type of intentional misdirection exploits vulnerabilities to distort reality. 

Gaslighting undermines, isolates, and divides. The term comes from the 1938 play and 1944 film Gaslight where a woman, played by Ingrid Bergman, is manipulated by her husband to paranoid extremes of self-doubt and anxiety, though she is ultimately vindicated. From historical medical diagnoses of women as “hysterical,” to the lack of accountability following recorded police violence, to the current backlash to the #MeToo movement, gaslighting is used to reify existing power structures and dismiss challenges to the status quo. It is most commonly cited in relation to intimate partner violence, and is often accompanied by a lack of empathy, or pointedly victim-blaming tactics.        

In the face of all of this, art and artists can push us to better recognize and resist this abusive assertion of power and control. They can call out, debunk, or subvert the lies. They can challenge epistemic injustice, a term devised by Miranda Fricker to encapsulate how the emotional or experiential knowledge of marginalized groups is dismissed or silenced. Artists can also establish new pathways for communication, self-knowledge, and self-confidence through these same forms of knowledge, and by prioritizing empathy and lived experience over traditional notions of expertise. This exhibition likewise aims to center bodily and emotional knowledge. 

The exhibition will ask several questions of its artists, and of its eventual audience. How do we know what we know? How do we convey our knowledge—whether that is intellectual, emotional, bodily, or ancestral? Why are these forms of social manipulation so pervasive in 2019-2020? How do we hold on to our truths amidst persistent manipulation? 

- All media, including painting, photography, prints, drawing, works on paper, new media, sculpture, mixed media, traditional or non-traditional materials, are welcome.
- There is no size limit on artwork.
- Please note that installations will ONLY be accepted if they have been completed. NO PROPOSALS will be accepted.

- All work accepted for the exhibition must arrive at the gallery framed and/or ready to hang/install.
- Work may be shipped via FedEx/UPS or hand-delivered to A.I.R. Gallery.
- Return postage MUST BE provided for shipped work.

- A $35 non-refundable entry fee for 1 - 3 images OR 1 video submission (price will increase to $40 after September 1, 2019).
- An additional $5 for each extra image (up to 3 extra images allowed, 6-image limit).

- 72dpi, JPG, RGB files only.
- Longest side of image must be 1000 pixels.
- Each image may not exceed 1MB and 1000 pixels in any direction.
- Images MUST be oriented properly (ex: top of the image is up).
- File name MUST not include first or last name (this is a blind review).

- Videos must be .MOV or MP4 format only and must not exceed 3 minutes in length.


Jamie Earnest