Dora Garcia contributes print to Justice Project

Juxta Press, Milan / Italy

December 4, 2019
November 26, 2019
Launch: December 4, 6:30–9pm, new works from Dora Garcia, Nadira Husain, Zak Kitnick, and Ugo La Pietra.

Juxta Press
Via Varese, 17
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At an aperitivo and showing of the Justice series at Juxta Press' studio on Wednesday, December 4, 6:30pm we will launch Dora Garcia's contribution to Justice alongside prints from Juxta's upcoming project Home. RSVP office [​at​]

For those unable to attend the launch, some of our editions are now on offer for a limited period, depending on availability on our website.

Juxta Press invited nine artists to contribute a limited edition to a new series of prints on the theme of Justice. In doing so, we started to ask where our ideas of Justice originate from? "Dikaisyne," the Greek word Plato used to define Justice, hints at an irrepressible human instinct to represent one's actions and so experience them in a universal dimension that transcends singularity. It is more moral than legal, and works to guarantee the unity of the individual as well as the stability of the state. To Plato, the problem of Justice is a matter of knowledge; to achieve it we have to first know what it is. We can only come to Justice through experience. It doesn't come easy. 

The concept of Justice is always in flux. It can be part of a system of rights (everyone should have his own), like Aristotle's, or of a system of duties, as in Plato (everyone should do his own). It can be strictly linked to a nation's Constitution or Civil Code, or can be a universal value to pursue over the course of our lives. Addressing the concept of Justice means questioning our responsibility towards the world. Whether we discover it to be internal or external, a virtue or an imperative, lost or found, we shall not ignore its relevance to our actions, thoughts and words.

There are many routes to take when thinking about Justice and the visual arts. Most of us are familiar with the blindfolded woman carrying scales and sword, and with famous depictions of Justice in action; Judith and Holofernes, the Flaying of Marsyas, William Hogarth's beleaguered rake, even Liberty Leading the People. Those of us living outside the Netherlands might be less familiar with the concept of "de afweging," which serves as the foundation of Ruth van Beek's print but the idea of careful balance it entails can be immediately understood.

And then there's the complex, often wounding, imagery that accompanies and evidences the enactment of Justice; courtroom sketches, mugshots, forensic photographs, the wanted posters of the American frontier. It works, perhaps like Elisabetta Benassi's contribution, by reading violence backwards from a traumatized present. One the other side, we can imagine the posters and placards of demonstrations with the utopic, countercultural impetuses arguably visible in Tobias Zielony's No Winner No Loser in which two young men remain permanently locked in a combative, erotic, and egalatarian embrace. 

We became interested in how Justice is invested in and renewed by the print form itself. From the Gutenberg Press to the grassroot-mentality of risographs, print has aided and abetted the dissemination of information intended to correct unjust ignorance. Spit in the Soup from Clegg & Guttmann playfully works to spread the psychoanalytical techniques of Alfred Adler, the man who pinpointed the inferiority complex as a primary source of aggression. Print in itself isn't aligned with one particular conception of Justice and is just as likely to be used by those attacking inalienable rights as those who wish to bolster them. Jimmie Durham's Normality seems to catalogue the forces working to diminish Justice and in doing so attests to the struggle faced by all those who wish to increase its domain. But, despite everything, holding an image aloft over our heads is how we attempt to recalibrate the scales of Justice. 

Here in Milan, the correlation between print and Justice is even more overt. In Italian, the word "manifesto" carries dual meanings. While in English it has been co-opted to describe an act of public explanation, in its madrelingua it covers both the content and the form; the declaration itself and the poster it's printed on. Cesare Pietroiusti's print Ripartizione is action and idea; paper currency rendered worthless by its division preserved as a symbol of economic Justice. And Luca Vitone's Eppur si muove (dettaglio I) feels, when we look at, enliveningly anarchistic.