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Please note: in light of developments surrounding COVID-19, this exhibition is closed effective Monday, December 21. Read more.
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Free for members, college students (with valid ID), patrons under 18, active military and veterans
$9 general public
$7 senior citizens (65 and older), Ohio State faculty and staff (with BuckID)
All visitors are admitted to the exhibition for free on Thursdays after 4 PM and on the first Sunday of each month. The exhibition is closed on Mondays.
We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. If you have questions about accessibility or require an accommodation such as captioning or ASL interpretation to participate in this event, please contact Accessibility Manager Helyn Marshall at email@example.com or via telephone at (614) 688-3890. Requests made by two weeks in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the Wexner Center for the Arts will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.
Commissioned by the Wexner Center in 1990 for one of its inaugural exhibitions, Gretchen Bender’s Aggressive Witness–Active Participant turns the pulsating cycle of nonstop American television into theatrical spectacle.
Consisting of eight domestic television sets (pre–flat screen era) interspersed with four computer monitors, Bender’s piece was one in a series of remarkably confrontational works taking live television imagery and abstract computer graphics as source material. Juxtaposing Bender’s original computer graphics with today's 24/7 newsfeed, this presentation creates a responsive continuity of political and televisual theater.
Presented amid the most contested presidential election in American history and massive social upheaval surrounding the entwined public health issues of systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wexner Center’s fall exhibitions showcased work from a diverse group of artists examining the tenets of American democracy, representative structures, and modes of political discourse. Discover more about the other exhibitions on view and related programs below.
• Review: "Voting is timely topic of powerful Wexner Center for the Arts exhibition," Columbus Dispatch
Gretchen Bender, Aggressive Witness—Active Participant, 1990 (detail). Live television broadcast on eight monitors, vinyl lettering; black-and-white computer-generated film on four monitors; with soundtrack by Stuart Argabright. 19:41 mins., dimensions variable. Restoration courtesy of Red Bull Arts. Installation view from Gretchen Bender: Aggressive Witness—Active Participant at the Wexner Center for the Arts.
Gretchen Bender, 1986. Photo: Hans Neleman. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.
Organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts and curated by Curator at Large Bill Horrigan.
MADE POSSIBLE BY
Greater Columbus Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
Institute of Museum and Library Services
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Cardinal Health Foundation
Gretchen Bender: Aggressive Witness—Active Participant