Curated by Helen Frederick
Fine Arts Gallery, George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia
October 14-November 1, 2013

This exhibition examines how we handle our fears and anxieties culturally, and how we build upon distortions of information fed to us by various types of media and social networking. One of the most urgent challenges facing society today is how we live with people who differ economically, racially, religiously, and ethnically. The thirteen artists selected were asked to present works that may transfigure suffering into other concepts, depending on their sensibilities.

In this exhibition are the works of Shahla Arbabi, Ed Bisese, Colby Caldwell, David Carlson, Mei Mei Chang, Michele Colburn, Nick Collier, Anna U. Davis, Sam Holmes, David Page, Annette Polan, Joyce J. Scott, and Julia Kim Smith. All the artists in the exhibit are, in various ways, dedicated to community work and observing realities that affect their particular dilemmas and their unique positions in their communities, voicing their opinions without turning their backs. These major artists feature installations, new media, sculpture, video, sound, and two-dimensional works on paper and canvas.

The theme FEAR STRIKES BACK is derived from James Elkin's book The Object Stares Back that supplies reasoning for how we see and how we don't. The title also refers to how we too often "look back" in terms of concerns of social justice. The work in FEAR STRIKES BACK, allows us to observe our 21st century overexposure to the troubling, violent, and sometime staged images, which can lead us to mixed emotions enjoying the spectacle of a horrible situation or sobering subject, while wanting it to stop or be stopped.