The Grant Wood Fellows Exhibition returns to campus for the first time since 2015. Hold the Line, featuring the work of five current and former fellows, is on display September 10 through October 2, 2021.
Hold the Line showcases the diverse formal and conceptual interests of each fellow’s individual practice, while also defining a through line between them. The artworks on view center themes around queerness, self-actualization, race relations, rupture, potentiality, Afro-/futurism, and utopia. Demarcations between figure and ground, one’s body against another’s, and architectural and sculptural interventions within institutional space are both locatable and blurred. The works on view are thus embedded with ambiguity; there are no clear answers to the inquiries they summon forth. In this way, the title of the exhibition somewhat contradicts its own political definition. “Hold the Line” as a statement means to maintain the existing position or state of affairs. Historically, it describes defensive military tactics where a line of troops hold ground to prevent an enemy breakthrough. Hold the Line subverts and re-contextualizes the phrase by visually embracing the tenuousness of ephemerality, vulnerability, plurality and movement.