ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Collage artists rummage through books and magazines, destroy them, then jigsaw the scraps into a beautiful madness.
As American society roils through the upheaval of a pandemic, racial injustice and economic collapse, Albuquerque’s 516 Arts invited 40 collage artists from nine countries and several indigenous nations to reconceive the times we live in through “Radical Reimaginings.” The resulting exhibit is available at 516arts.org.
Affordable and democratic in its means, collage boasts a history of contributing to activism and inspiring new ideas. Picasso and his fellow cubist Georges Braque coined the word. Techniques of collage were first used at the time of the invention of paper in China, around 200 B.C. Latin American artists turn it into posters, particularly during political unrest. Women used it to express themselves in their diaries during the repression of Victorian England.
“Collage has a long history as a feminist medium,” said Suzanne Sbarge, exhibition co-curator.