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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Maker(s):Beresford, Anne
Culture:American (1958- )
Title:Despotism (A Prayer For Freedom From)
Date Made:2020
Type:Print; Drawing
Materials:Mixed media on hand-made paper
Measurements:Mount: 27 1/8 in x 20 7/8 in; 68.9 cm x 53 cm; Sheet: 19 5/8 in x 15 7/8 in; 49.8 cm x 40.3 cm
Narrative Inscription:  SIGNATURE/DATE; back, lwr. r. (black crayon): BERESFORD 10.28.2020; TITLE: back, ctr. (black crayon): (A PRAYER FOR FREEDOM FROM)
Accession Number:  UM 2020.8
Credit Line:Commissioned for the exhibition We Are For Freedoms, gift of Anne Beresford

Label Text:
From the exhibition We Are For Freedoms, February 16 - December 5, 2021
Artist's Statement:
For this commission I began by trying to analyze the phenomenon that we call “freedom” in all its complexity. In the end my piece reflects a reductionist view: an attempt to illuminate freedom by defining elements which fundamentally make freedom, of any kind, for anyone, impossible. Despotism, disease — walls that are put up around us everyday — especially in this extraordinarily bruising year. Ultimately, for me freedom is the concept of expansive possibility beyond or around impediments. As is usual in my work, I excavate the past for inspiration. I feel the pull of recent as well as distant history as I try to make sense of, and respond to, the present. In wrestling with this moment in which we find ourselves, the political and the personal have become indistinguishable.

Para este encargo, empecé por tratar de analizar, en toda su complejidad, el fenómeno que conocemos como “libertad”. Al final, mi obra refleja una perspectiva reduccionista, un intento de esclarecer la libertad mediante las razones por las cuales cualquier libertad es intrínsecamente inalcanzable para cualquier persona. El despotismo y la enfermedad son barreras que se construyen cada día a nuestro alrededor, sobre todo en este apabullante año. En última instancia, para mí la libertad es la posibilidad de expandirse más allá de los impedimentos, de sortearlos. Como acostumbro en mi trabajo, excavé el pasado buscando inspiración. Lo reciente y lo distante me atraen mientras trato de darle sentido al presente, de responder a este. Al luchar en este momento en el que nos encontramos, lo político y lo personal se han vuelto indistinguibles.

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