Project Native Informant

Juliana Huxtable,


The Contemporary, Austin

IN A DREAM YOU SAW A WAY TO SURVIVE AND YOU WERE FULL OF JOY, comes from a work by the prominent feminist artist Jenny Holzer. This evocative phrase tells a story of possibility and implies critical questions that have guided our thinking around the artworks gathered for this project: Who, under what conditions, must struggle to survive? What does survival look like for individuals and communities? And, how might the tools of our imaginations help us to find joy and collectively reshape the conditions of our society?

This exhibition grapples with a range of critical issues facing our society today. As Holzer’s phrase suggests, the featured artists both acknowledge societal inequities and envision pathways toward a new and better future. Confronting identity and history in ways informed by feminism and other political thought, their works evaluate systems that suppress and exclude those whose lives are not privileged within the dominant patriarchal power structure.

Dreams can offer sources of inspiration motivating us to change the circumstances of our lives. Similarly, storytelling and other approaches to narrative forms offer ways of examining and affecting reality. Employing these strategies of imagination, the artworks in this exhibition offer refuge from systems of oppression and present vital perspectives that may help us to unsettle those systems. Reflecting on the social and historical conditions underpinning our ways of being in the world, the featured artists inspire us to tell new stories about who we are and what is possible for each of us. In this, they invite us to imagine more equitable, joyful futures.

IN A DREAM YOU SAW A WAY TO SURVIVE AND YOU WERE FULL OF JOY is curated by Robin K. Williams, Curator, with Julie Le, Assistant Curator, The Contemporary Austin.

The exhibition is made possible through generous support from Rachel and Jeff Arnold, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Carly and Clayton Christopher, Suzanne Deal Booth, Deborah Dupré, Deborah Green and Clayton Aynesworth, Kathleen Irvin Loughlin, Suzanne McFayden, Chris Mattsson, Fredericka and David Middleton, Guillermo Nicolas and Jim Foster, Topo Chico, Zarmeena Vendal, and Melba and Ted Whatley.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Units 1 and 3
48 Three Colts Lane
London E2 6GQ
United Kingdom

Wednesday - Saturday
12:00 - 18:00