Art for Progress presents “Déjà vu” Group Art Exhibition

Art for Progress (AFP) is pleased to announce a group exhibition of new works by artists from New York City, Los Angeles, Spain and Israel. The show entitled “Déjà vu” will run from October 30th to November 12th, 2014 at NOoSPHERE Arts in New York City, and the opening reception will take place on October 30th from 6 to 10 PM.

The exhibition will include a variety of mediums, from painting to sculpture, which tackle the theme of déjà vu. The term can be described as “a feeling of having already experienced the present situation” or “a tedious familiarity.”It first appeared in a 1928 text entitled a Text for Psychology. Since then, the topic of déjà vu has been addressed from the big screen to Sci-Fi novels. It is a concept and sensation that has captivated audiences for generations and in this exhibit AFP hopes to push the boundaries of this.

For this show, the concept of déjà vu has been explored from several vantage points, from ideas of storytelling to an affective feeling. This exhibition is seeking to both comment on this topic and try to rethink the way in which it has been socioculturally situated. Déjà vu has come to occupy a very specific place within popular culture and this exhibition aims to build on that while also carving out new meaning for it.

Fourteen artists will be featured in the show: Rocco Alberico, Ted Barr, Bill Claps, Lance Dehne, Tony DiBella, Essam, gilf!, Diane LaRaja, Lichiban, Sona Mirzaei, Carol Nussbaum, Juan Manuel Pajares, Jeanne Wilkinson and Margaret Withers. Local activist artists Essam and gilf! are creating installation pieces in response to the theme. In the gallery’s outdoor space Essam will install one Res Judicata for viewers to get a sense of the scale of these objects and to also feel their presence. Drawing on Dr. Cornell West’s call surrounding National Mass Incarceration Awareness Month, Brooklyn based artist gilf! will wear an inmate jumpsuit for the entire month of October in an effort to examine our prison system. By engaging with the public and creating dialogue about these hidden atrocities she hopes to spur more awareness around this topic. The artist will use the jumpsuits as canvases- centering on self-isolation and the public’s reactions to visually reflect the emotional and mental states she experiences throughout the month. Several of the jumpsuits will be part of the “Déjà vu” exhibition.

The feeling of déjà vu is something all of the artists have personally experienced and this is reflected in their work. Artist Margaret Withers explains how the theme is reflected in her work. “Our capacity to make sense of something is rooted in storytelling…we come to see life as layered stories that fold together to make up our identity.” Whereas Bill Claps investigates the theme in a slightly different way in a recent series of work he completed called “It’s All Derivative.” Claps writes “These images are all glimpses from the past, re-interpreted in a perpetual art historical chain of visual déjà vu.” Clap’s interpretation of déjà vu touches on issues of memory and perception and the way in which this relates to art.
Other artists such as Lichiban and Ted Barr took a more personal approach to the theme. Lichiban explains, “These pieces relate to the theme very intimately. They are characters of a story which reference memory, creative imagination, past lives and spiritual seeking.” And artist Ted Barr described déjà vu as “not a moment of revelation but it is a moment of recognition that the journey of life is not a straight line.”

Art For Progress is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organization committed to the cultivation and support of emerging artists working in diverse genres: the visual arts, fashion, music, film, and new media. Based in New York City, AFP seeks to increase the visibility of talented artists, to raise the awareness of the importance of arts education in public schools, and to support those same arts through its arts education program. Visit for more information.

“Déjà vu” will run through November 12th, 2014. Gallery hours are from 12-6 PM Tuesday through Sunday. The show will also include other events over the two week period including several performances and artist talks. The artwork for the invitation is courtesy of photographer Tony DiBella. For additional information about the show please contact Art for Progress Director Frank Jackson via email at

NOoSPHERE is located at 251 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002

–Anni Irish