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Art and Survival in the Age of Pandemic

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022 – May 25, 2022

Lastgaspism: Art and Survival in the Age of Pandemic is an exhibition that grows out of the book of the same name. The book is a collection of interviews, critical essays, and artist portfolios that consider matters of life and death having to do with breath, both allegorical and literal. Bringing into mutual proximity the ecological, political, public health, and spiritual crises of our time, the book considers the compounding nature of these events and their impact upon one another. 

The exhibition includes work that addresses the police murders that gave rise to the “I Can’t Breathe” slogans of the movement for racial justice, makes visible the life-taking and life-remaking force of the COVID-19 pandemic, and grapples with the white nationalist streaks fueled by fear of demographic suffocation. Exhibiting artists consider the climate and social emergencies that afflict US society, and look for available peace in our new age of perpetual biopolitical chaos. For these artists, the ‘last gasps’ of a dying order starkly expose the either/or that stands before us: either we breathe or we die. In photography, video, printmaking, and other media, the artists of Lastgaspism highlight a host of pressing subjects both critically and with compassion, to help us make sense of the interlocked crises of the unfolding present.  



For more information on the book see

Contributing Artists: 

Kenneth Bailey is the co-founder of the Boston-based Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI). He is the co-author of the DS4SI book “Ideas—Arrangements--Effects: Systems Design and Social Justice” published in 2020 by Minor Compositions.

Anne Basting is a scholar and theatre activist living in Milwaukee, where she serves as Director of the Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She founded TimeSlips, an organization devoted to connecting artists and caregivers in projects of creative engagement. The TimeSlips creative works that are shared in this exhibit also include pieces from Brooklyn Steffon Dixon, Sherrine Azab, Michael Snowden, Jacklyn Kostichka, Robert Knapp, and the elders from Milwaukee and Detroit that participated in these projects.

Cheryl Derricotte is a native of Washington, D.C., living and making art in San Francisco. Tech worker by day, she creates in glass, printmaking, and public sculpture. She recently completed new artists’ books while in residence at Antenna Paper Machine in New Orleans.

Erin Genia, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, is an artist, educator and organizer specializing in Indigenous arts and culture. Genia’s artistic practice merges Dakota cultural imperatives, pure expression, and exploration of materiality with the conceptual. Erin is fluent in multiple modes of expression: sculpture, fiber, sound, performance, digital media, painting, printmaking, jewelry, and ceramics.


Alicia Grullón is a New York-based artist who works in performance, photography, video, and social sculpture. Grullón is the 2020-2022 recipient of the Walentas Endowed Fellowship at Moore College of Art & Design.


Pato Hebert is an artist, teacher, organizer, and long haul survivor of COVID. He lives and works in New York where he teaches at NYU and makes work that explores the aesthetics, ethics and poetics of interconnectedness.


Lori Lobenstine is an organizer and facilitator, and is the program design lead and co-founder of the Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI).


Damon Locks is a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, and vocalist/musician. A member of the post-punk groups Trenchmouth and The Eternals, he is the founder of Black Monument Ensemble.

Karthik Pandian is an artist who works in film, exhibitions and public interventions to unsettle the ground of history. He teaches in the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies at Harvard University.


Writers Room is a university-community literary arts program based at Drexel that brings to life voices from the university’s adjacent West Philadelphia neighborhoods. 


Exhibition Co-Curators and Book Co-Editors:

Anthony Romero is a Boston-based artist, writer, and organizer committed to documenting and supporting artists and communities of color. Recent projects include, Conversations on Sound and Power, which he co-edited for the journal March.International. He was a 2019–20 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Romero is currently a Professor of the Practice at the School of the Museum of Fine Art at Tufts University.

Daniel Tucker works as an educator, artist, writer, and organizer developing documentaries, publications, exhibitions, and events inspired by his interest in social movements and the people and places from which they emerge. His recent projects include Power Map with Mural Arts Philadelphia and Confronting Enemies with A Blade of Grass in New York and all his work is documented on the archive He is currently an Associate Professor and the founding graduate program director in Socially Engaged Art at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.

Dan S. Wang is an artist living in Los Angeles. He was a founding keyholder of Mess Hall, an experimental cultural space in Chicago. Recent projects include commissioned works for the Station Museum (Houston) and Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia), and a solo show at Fonderie Darling (Montreal). His art writings have been published internationally in book collections, museum catalogues, and in dozens of artist publications. He is a resident artist at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.