Jenni Crain
If Not Now

Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Louise Bourgeois, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ann Gillen, Anna Maria Maiolino, Beverly Pepper, Alison Saar, Deborah Willis
October 28 - November 25, 2018

Pratt Institute is pleased to present If Not Now, the second exhibition of the Pratt Institute Survey Exhibition Series developed and inaugurated by alumna Jenni Crain in 2017. The ongoing series of exhibitions features the work of participants within Pratt Institute’s program since the institution’s founding in 1887 through to the present. Each of the artists included in If Not Now have contributed to Pratt Institute’s legacy be it as students, faculty or as recipients of honorary degrees.

Throughout the series of past exhibitions that I have organized at Pratt Institute, I have focused on bringing together the artworks of participants within Pratt’s program, from its very beginnings in the late 1800’s through to the present, who’s various backgrounds and areas of exploration demonstrate not only the linkage and development of generational inheritance, but also the ways in which these evolutions reflect the progression of dispositions amongst cyclical cultural narratives. There is at once mimicry, adaptation, and transformation. Behavioral patterns present themselves in ways that both build and divide communities, creating alternative grounds on which to relate, relay, or rehearse.

As an alumna of Pratt Institute myself, with ambitions of engaging equally amongst the institution’s bountiful legacy and its burgeoning prospect, I have begun to understand this lineage as something almost familial. In my avid research to connect with Pratt’s past and my active interest to remain involved with current and upcoming student bodies, I have come to appreciate these predecessors and successors as peers, as mentors, and as relatives of sorts, perhaps distant in terms of interpersonal immediacy, but bound by shared, adopted and adapted experiences, beliefs, values and ideas.

If Not Now is conceived through this lens of family as a community, as a principal nucleus of socialization and education, which evolves sequentially in response to the lessons learned and imparted by those who came before. In this metaphor of the institutional network as a familial entity, I have gravitated towards these concepts of responsibility and legacy through the artworks of a multigenerational group of female artists, each of who have participated within Pratt's program as students, as faculty or as recipients of honorary degrees. These artists and artworks address themes of heritage, be it political, economic, civic, familial and/or personal, by reconstructing time-bound narratives in manners that promote their redirection and progress, accelerating their contemplation and confrontation by future generations.