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Cut & Paste: Oscar Murillo and Modou Dieng on when art gets political

Courtesy Kranzberg Arts Foundation
Oscar Murillo's installation evokes a protest "in limbo."

Artist Oscar Murillo’s installation now on view at Kranzberg Arts Foundation evokes a very strange political protest, one in which no single cause is apparent but it’s clear that passions run high.

More than 150 protest placards crowd the space — some plainly visible, some stacked upside down or otherwise obscured. Their surfaces are crowded with paint, magazine clippings, plaster sculptures and even a wig or two.

The installation is part of a 15-artist exhibition called “Cry of Victory and Short Walks to Freedom,” curated by Modou Dieng. The other 14 pieces are on view at projects + gallery in the Central West End, but Murillo’s piece (“Over you/you”) requires its own room.

Credit Courtesy Kranzberg Arts Foundation
Modou Dieng (left) and Oscar Murillo discuss the nature of political art in this episode of "Cut & Paste."

The exhibition is part of “For Freedoms,” a 50-state initiative promoting politically aware art in the runup to the November elections.

For this episode of Cut & Paste, we spoke with both Dieng and Murillo about “Over you/you” and about the very nature of political art. When you combine politics and art, does one element get in the way of the other? And what exactly counts as political art, anyway?

Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcastsevery few weeks on our website. You can also find all previous podcasts focusing on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.

The podcast is sponsored by JEMA Architects, Planners and Designers.

Please help St. Louis Public Radio find creative people to feature on Cut & Paste. Tell us which artists and cultural drivers deserve a closer look.

Follow Jeremy on Twitter: @JeremyDGoodwin

Jeremy is the arts & culture reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.