Ends on October 13, 2019

$35.00 USD, $40.00 USD, $45.00 USD


Curated by Carmen Hermo

The sixth biannual CURRENTS exhibition continues A.I.R. Gallery’s mission of exploring timely themes through its open call series.  

The exhibition will explore the experiences and ramifications of manipulations of reality, or gaslighting, on individuals, communities, and culture. While much attention has been paid to “fake news” and “alternative facts,” further work is necessary to illuminate the social impact of more insidious, everyday deceit, especially on women-identifying people and marginalized groups. Whether in personal relationships, professional or cultural settings, or writ large in our socio-political moment, this type of intentional misdirection exploits vulnerabilities to distort reality. 

Gaslighting undermines, isolates, and divides. The term comes from the 1938 play and 1944 film Gaslight where a woman, played by Ingrid Bergman, is manipulated by her husband to paranoid extremes of self-doubt and anxiety, though she is ultimately vindicated. From historical medical diagnoses of women as “hysterical,” to the lack of accountability following recorded police violence, to the current backlash to the #MeToo movement, gaslighting is used to reify existing power structures and dismiss challenges to the status quo. It is most commonly cited in relation to intimate partner violence, and is often accompanied by a lack of empathy, or pointedly victim-blaming tactics.        

In the face of all of this, art and artists can push us to better recognize and resist this abusive assertion of power and control. They can call out, debunk, or subvert the lies. They can challenge epistemic injustice, a term devised by Miranda Fricker to encapsulate how the emotional or experiential knowledge of marginalized groups is dismissed or silenced. Artists can also establish new pathways for communication, self-knowledge, and self-confidence through these same forms of knowledge, and by prioritizing empathy and lived experience over traditional notions of expertise. This exhibition likewise aims to center bodily and emotional knowledge. 

The exhibition will ask several questions of its artists, and of its eventual audience. How do we know what we know? How do we convey our knowledge—whether that is intellectual, emotional, bodily, or ancestral? Why are these forms of social manipulation so pervasive in 2019-2020? How do we hold on to our truths amidst persistent manipulation? 

Carmen Hermo joined the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art’s curatorial team as Assistant Curator in June 2016 and was appointed Associate Curator in 2018. She curated Roots of “The Dinner Party”: History in the Making (2017), co-organized Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty (2016–17), the Brooklyn presentation of Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 (2018), Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection (2018–19), Something to Say: Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine, Deborah Kass, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Hank Willis Thomas (2018–19) and formed part of the curatorial collective for Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall (2019). Carmen works to support the permanent collection and serves on the Council for Feminist Art and Young Leadership Council patron groups.

Previously, Carmen was Assistant Curator for Collections at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2010–16), where she served on the museum’s Young Collectors Council acquisition committee devoted to the work of emerging artists and co-curated the contemporary collection exhibitions Now’s the Time: Recent Acquisitions (2012–13) and Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim (2015). She has previously worked with the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Carmen received her B.A. in Art History and English from the University of Richmond and her M.A. in Art History from Hunter College. Carmen lives in Jersey City.


  • Images must be JPG files only.
  • Each image may not exceed 1MB and 1000 pixels in any direction.
  • Images MUST be oriented properly (ex: top of the image is up).
  • Videos must be .MOV or MP4 format only and must not exceed 3 minutes in length.
  • Videos must not contain the artist name.
  • Text submissions must be in PDF format
  • Sound submissions must be in MP3 format
  • All file names MUST NOT include first or last name (remember this is a blind review).


  • You must fill in all fields and upload at least 3 images in order for your application to be complete.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • Applications will be reviewed in OCTOBER 2019. Please DO NOT call the gallery about your application status.