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Chaos or...

The Cleveland County Arts Council, July 13 - August 31, 2023

Brown Gallery, Duke University, September 15-October 15, 2023

Chaos or…

is an exhibition of new work created by Cecil (C.J.) Norris. Norris’s work engages the critical text “Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community” by Martin Luther King Jr. where King warned that the “evils” of racism, materialism, militarism, and “I will add ecological disasters” endangered the progression of society. The exhibition features collages, paintings, and drawings, all containing various degrees of social commentary. For Norris, social commentary is a way to communicate his sentiments on his community. As a black man, Norris’s viewpoints vacillate between participant and witness, but these works offer him an uninterrupted voice to speak his opinions and observations about Western society. Norris originally conceived Chaos or… as an examination of the evils of society and an exercise in how to build community, but quickly understood that this exhibition is the first in many series of works trying to understand how the chaos of society plays an integral role in shaping our understanding of community. The exhibition's title is a declaration of shared place and time and an acknowledgment of how grotesque these conditions are. One part town crier, one part self-indictment, one part government and corporate protester, and one part dystopian, Norris’s work visualizes the chaos in our lives as we navigate life in a heavily propagandized world. 

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world. While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.- Eugene V. Debs 

Let me just say: Peace to you, if you're willing to fight for it. -Fred Hampton

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