Elaine Byrne | CURRENTS: Free Expression and the Inexpressible

A.I.R. Gallery, New York

January 6 – February 4, 2024

A.I.R. Gallery
Brooklyn NY


A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Free Expression and the Inexpressible, the eighth edition of CURRENTS, a biennial open call exhibition series in which artists respond to current topics. Curated by artist and theorist Aliza Shvarts, the 2024 iteration of the series addresses how artists navigate the paradoxes and promises implied by the idea of “freedom of expression.” “Freedom of expression” is a principle and right that is meant to protect the voices of the disempowered. Crucially, it promises to safeguard our capacity to speak truth, critique systems of power, and demand a better world. Yet free expression has never been a right without exception, or even a right enforced and distributed equally. At times, the freedom of expression of some comes at the silencing of others—particularly women, queer people, people of color, indigenous people, and people with disabilities. In these instances, “freedom” can be an alibi for reinforcing domination: a term invoked to defend hate speech and otherwise disavow language’s violent effects.

6 January 2024