Violence and disregard for life have become so ingrained in American society and culture (from police brutality and institutional abuse, to poverty and domestic violence) that our collective consciousness is now shaped by paranoia and fear. The media we choose to consume numbs us and the suffering endured by others becomes nothing more than flickering images on a screen, slowly turning our desensitizations to apathy and fascination.
The American Roulette exhibit presents provocative artwork influenced by gun culture and violence. The mission of this exhibit is to evoke a needed platform for productive dialog across cultural and societal divides in order to listen and learn from each other.
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American Roulette began as a solo traveling exhibition of Dominic’s sculpture entitled The Gun Show in 2015. CJ joined the exhibition for a two-person show in January of 2017 and it was renamed Bang! Gotcha Joe! after a boyhood friend of Dominic’s. Once Cesar joined the collective, the traveling exhibition was renamed American Roulette for it’s presentation at The Clemente Center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2019.
Michelle was asked to join in the fall of 2019 and Folleh was added in 2020 prior to the exhibition at The Epiphany Center for the Arts in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago.
Yousif and Anthony, were working on a similar idea out west before we discovered our mutual goals, and they joined the project in 2021.