1Signs of Change exhibition poster

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Media Contact: Margaret Cox,

docPress Release: Signs of Change

docE-News Feb. 2009


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0Podcast interview with curators

docSigns of Change
       School Curriculum


Feb. 4 Political Poet(ry): "signs of change, movement posters, movement history” >>>

Jan. 22 Brooklyn Street Art: "These images exist to help people change the world" Interview with Josh MacPhee ” >>>

Jan. 28
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Exhibit highlights political posters' role in social upheaval” >>>

The Pitt News, "CMU gallery reveals Signs of Change" >>>

"[Signs of Change co-curator] MacPhee says the exhibit is not only intended to provide a historical framework for contemporary activism but also to serve as an inspiration for the present and the future... 'the role of the political poster is not over.'" - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"the exhibit manages to be exhaustive without being exhausting... 'signs of change,' is a bullseye sharp exhibit, spinning webs of history, knitting years of yarn, spitting pure and rare movement history through posters from movements spanning 39 countries and 4 decades. succinct placards, with dope breakdowns of movement history, dot the wall at about hip height, around one placard for every 4 posters. slow down with this exhibit, fight the urge to speed through because its images you’re looking at- new york heads, i know how it is, but leave your brisk concrete walk in the closet with them salt coated tims, take your time with this exhibit and you won’t be sorry." - Political Poet(ry)

"This incredibly ambitious show [is] a celebration of art practices in the service of what are largely marginalized social movements [and] at the same time it offers some of the raw materials that allow us to reflect on the relationship between art and social change... Go and see the show." - The Brooklyn Rail

"The show examines art that is both a tool of radical political movements and the inevitable result of the need to incorporate political critiques into daily life. It successfully situates current struggles and social justice cultures historically. The show also provides an important space in which to examine work that would otherwise go largely unnoticed." - The Indypendent

"The art is sharp and fresh; the ideas stand the test of time ... some are so far ahead that they would seem triply radical today." - Cindy Cooper

Signs of Change "should leave you feeling breathless and grateful" - Ashlee Halpern, "Own This City", Time Out NY


Past Exhibition

1We Resist Colonization!,
Favianna Rodriguez 2004, courtesy of
Interference Archive
1Boycott Lettuce, 1977, Chicago Women's Graphics Collective
1Anti-Nato Demo, Artist Unknown, Germany,1982
1Hunt A Car, Kabouters, The Netherlands, 1970
1Protest, See Red Women's Workshop, 1976
17th International Indian Treaty Conference, Steve Blake, 1981



Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now

Guest curated by Dara Greenwald + Josh MacPhee
Jan. 23 - March 8, 2009


PITTSBURGH -- In Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio clips, and ephemera bring to life over forty years of activism, political protest, and campaigns for social justice.

Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee, this important and timely exhibition surveys the creative work of dozens of international social movements. Signs of Change presents the creative outpourings of social movements, such as those for civil rights and black power in the United States; democracy in China; anti-apartheid in Africa; squatting in Europe; environmental activism and women's rights internationally; and the global AIDS crisis, as well as uprisings and protests, such as those for indigenous control of lands; against airport construction in Japan; and for radical social transformation in France.

The exhibition also explores the development of powerful counter-cultures that evolve beyond traditional politics and create distinct aesthetics, life-styles, and social organizations. Although histories of political groups and counter-cultures have been written, and political and activist shows have been held, this exhibition is a groundbreaking attempt to chronicle the artistic and cultural production of these movements. Signs of Change offers a chance to see relatively unknown or rarely seen works, and is intended to not only provide a historical framework for contemporary activism, but also to serve as an inspiration for the present and the future.


Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bosnia, Brazil, Burma, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.


Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee as part of Exit Art’s Curatorial Incubator. Curatorial Incubator Director: Mary Anne Staniszewski.

Dara Greenwald is a media artist and PhD Candidate in the Electronic Art Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her collaborative work often takes the form of video, writing, and cultural organizing. She worked at the Video Data Bank from 1998-2005 and taught DIY exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2003-2005.

Josh MacPhee is an artist, curator and activist currently living in Brooklyn, New York. His work often revolves around themes of radical politics, privatization and public space. His most recent book is Reproduce & Revolt/Reproduce Y Rebélate (Soft Skull Press, 2008, co-edited with Favianna Rodriguez). He also organizes the Celebrate People's History Poster Series and is part of the political art cooperative

“Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now” is an exhibition produced by Exit Art, NY, and was the inaugural project of the Curatorial Incubator Program. The program expands Exit Art's commitment to young and emerging curators and scholars in contemporary art, by giving material, financial, and human resources to developing curatorial talent. Working with Exit Art directors and staff, fellows curate large-scale exhibition projects, learn fundraising, develop outreach and educational programs, and co-publish a catalogue.


Jan. 23, Fri.
4:30-6pm: Curators' Talk, Visualizing Social Movement Cultures

With this interactive lecture, Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee will provide historical context for the works in the exhibition and discuss their research and organizational methodologies. At McConomy Auditorium in University Center, across from the Purnell Center for the Arts, Carnegie Mellon. Sponsored by the University Lecture Series + School of Art Lecture Series.
6-8pm: Winter Harvest Reception
Live screenprinting provided by Artists Image Resource + the Andy Warhol Museum. DJ Baglady will spin the music of change.

Feb. 12, Thurs.
8pm: Film Screening: Finally Got The News
(League of Revolutionary Black Workers with Newsreel) + Mayday (Newsreel Collective).
@ Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Melwood Screening Room.

Feb. 19, Thurs.
5-8pm: Activist Print Open Studio.
Live screenprinting provided by the Warhol + AIR @ Miller Gallery.

Feb. 27, Fri.
5pm: Critical Mass.
Exhibition view @ Miller Gallery first, 5:30pm ride from Carnegie Library two blocks West.

FUNDING: Signs of Change at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University is underwritten in part by the Jill Watson Family Foundation. The exhibitions and programs at the Miller Gallery are supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as the School of Art and the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University.

Signs of Change is supported by a major grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support provided by the Museum program at the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency, and the Starry Night Fund at The Tides Foundation.

Public programs at Exit Art were supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. General exhibition support provided by Bloomberg LP; Carnegie Corporation; Jerome Foundation; Pollock-Krasner Foundation; Exit Art’s Board of Directors and its members. Exit Art gratefully acknowledges public funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane. Sponsoring partners of Signs of Change are The Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) in Los Angeles and the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam.