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Culture Industry

This exhibition was curated by Interface Gallery director, Suzanne L'Heureux, for the Mills College Art Department's experimental gallery, Slide Space 123. The participating artists, Sara Cwynar, Débora Delmar, Shana Moulton, and Tabita Rezaire, all explore how various means of cultural production are employed to shape our desires and produce us as subjects.

The title Culture Industry comes from a chapter in Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s book Dialectics of Enlightenment, which critiques the mass production of culture under capitalism and the ways this “culture industry” serves to manipulate desire and control the public. The authors examine how popular culture is designed to overpower consumers by producing a false psychological need for the products the culture industry provides. In various ways, the artists in this exhibition all contend with this “cycle of manipulation and retroactive need," revealing the racialized, classed and gendered nature of its influence.