Becoming American
August 4-September 30, 2018
Seattle and San Juan Island National Historical Park 

Organized byCefalonia in partnership with studio e, Specialist and SOIL

Thursday, August 2 at Specialist in Pioneer Square, Seattle
Korakrit Arunandonchai: With history in a room filled with people with funny names 4

Friday, August 3 at studio e, Georgetown, Seattle
Group exhibition featuring participating artists

Saturday and Sunday, August 4-5 at the English and American camps,San Juan Island National Historical Park, San Juan Island

Main exhibition
Thursday, September 6 at SOIL, Pioneer Square, Seattle
Group exhibition responding to Becoming American by artist members of SOIL, a collective and non-profit gallery.

Dan Attoe, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Paul Stephen Benjamin, Gretchen Frances Bennett, Matthew Brannon, Cat Clifford, Jasper Johns, Brian Jungen, Eyvind Kang, Duane Linklater, Lynne McCabe, Jeffry Mitchell, Lavar Munroe, Jenny Perlin, Pope L., Adrian Piper, R.H. Quaytman, Ruth Robbins, Aram Saroyan, Dori Hana Scherer, Barbara Earl Thomas, Rodrigo Valenzuela, Anna Von Mertens, and Marie Watt.

Exploring how artists engage the ongoing challenges of American iconography, identity, history, and formal inheritances, Becoming American is an international group exhibition taking place on the grounds of the American and English camps on San Juan Island, WA, and satellite venues in the city of Seattle.

The exhibition ranges from commissions responsive to the layered dynamics of the primary venue—including the park’s history as a traditional home to Coastal Salish people, the location of the last territorial dispute between the United States and Great Britain, its imminent proximity to Canada, and exceptional natural beauty—to works across media that delve into and question the perhaps permanently contested, never-to-be-resolved nature of the larger understanding of the Americas.

Literal and conceptual borders alike are pushed via moving image, painting, sculpture, photography, textile, and sound and performance works that open up the provocation and prompt of the exhibition’s title to multiple readings. Animating the architecture of extant buildings—comprised of preserved storehouse, barracks, blockhouse and hospital structures, Becoming American extends its reach into group and solo presentations in Seattle to create a call and response between rural and urban contexts.

With immersive installations and key historical works presented alongside artist texts and performative gesture, the exhibition underscores an ongoing inquiry and transitive approach to themes of race, gender, place, and cultural heritage embedded within the larger practices of contributing artists. Actively rehearsing, analyzing, and playing with ideological stances and narrative, the works on view encourage audiences to engage and reflect upon the uneasy imaginary of what it means to strive toward becoming American today.

                                                                                                                                                        —Fionn Meade 

Copryright Fionn Meade unless otherwise stated