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'Always Chasing Rainbows' by Jonathan Santoro at The Galleries at Moore, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA — Artist Jonathan Santoro reimagines The Wizard of Oz in his new exhibition Always Chasing Rainbows, appearing November 14, 2020 – January 9, 2021 at The Galleries at Moore, 1916 Race Street, located on The Parkway. The exhibition in the Goldie Paley Gallery window is free and open to the public. It can be viewed from Race Street and is best seen at night. In accordance with Moore College of Art & Design's guidelines, indoor exhibitions at The Galleries are tentatively closed to the public until further notice because of COVID-19.

In the evergreen American fairytale The Wizard of Oz, the nostalgic yearning for home resounds as a primary theme. Like any good classic, The Wizard of Oz is woven deeply into our cultural consciousness and acts as a reflector of societal values—as well as its blemishes. Beyond its surface-level presentation of loyal friendship, self-actualization, and the virtues of home, The Wizard of Oz presents sublimated themes of American exceptionalism, frontierism, and the omnipresent threat of surveillance and control. 

In reexamining the franchise through the lens of both personal and cultural memory, Always Chasing Rainbows transforms Dorothy’s oddly-matched companions into an assortment of visual misnomers and objects associated with suburban lawn décor, property protection, and spectated punishment. Here, The Galleries at Moore’s Race Street window becomes both a voyeuristic stage and a security arena. Always Chasing Rainbows uses The Wizard of Oz as a vehicle to examine a bygone American dream, exploring ideas around nostalgia as both a sickness and a symptom of an increasingly fervent nationalism, spectacle, surveillance capitalism, and dysfunctional familial relationships wherein even love becomes a tool of control.

14.11.20 — 9.1.20

Photo by Joseph Hu

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