It's not always possible to sort out fact from fiction, but to believe that everything is a lie is to know nothing. —Jill Lepore, "The World That Trump and Ailes Built," The New Yorker Alternative facts are lies. Fake news is propaganda. Both are indicative of the aestheticization of politics that Walter Benjamin warned against. The media is tightly molded and controlled, beginning in the White House Press Office and algorithmically landing in our feeds. The truth is exaggerated with ideological results in mind. alt-facts is a politically charged response to today's mediascape. Spanning both gallery spaces, the works therein propose that the politicization of aesthetics—propaganda's opposite—can offer profoundly powerful alternative truths. Art condenses its message into objects; meaning is extrapolated. It lends itself to constructing fictions: Painting is illusion. Sculpture is fabrication. Virtual reality is unreal reality. In alt-facts, conceptual and material interventions produce fictitious narratives, alternative histories, objects and images both real and virtual. Poetic license does not have evil intent. It is a departure from reality because reality bites. Hello, you've reached the winter of our discontent. If fiction is more credible than truth, and if building a world only requires making things up, we are equipped to build the world we want. Meriem Bennani | David Diao | David Herbert Matt Johnson | Eva and Franco Mattes | Jennifer and Kevin McCoy William Powhida | Kenya (Robinson) | Rachel Rossin Ultra Violet Production House [Joshua Citarella and Brad Troemel] | The Yes Men
Five photographs that combine youth and small scale in an elaborate construction.