If you traded beach chairs for protest posters all summer, you'll want to spend your weekends in museums and galleries as the weather cools. The fall features a pair of hardcore political exhibitions perfect for those of us with our dander already up.
The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989 documents a movement sparked by the politically motivated street killing of Dehli playwright, actor and activist Safdar Hashmi. Opening Sept. 13 at UNC's Ackland Art Museum, the exhibition shows artists battling against divisiveness and intolerance in today's Indian political sphere while offering alternative visions for reconciliation. The Ackland is planned a slate of cultural events to go with the show.
Expect a more philosophical tack when Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space opens Sept. 19 at Duke's Nasher Museum of Art. The show features more than 30 contemporary artists—many from South Asia—working out the relationship between border and identity. Co-curated by Green Cardamom founder Hammad Nasar and Cornell professor Iftikhar Dadi, the show originally focused on India's 1947 division but expanded to have a global reach.
For a fluffy alternative to politics, the North Carolina Museum of Art opens the ticketed Porsche By Design: Seducing Speed show on Oct. 12. More than 20 sleek, sexy cars will park in the galleries—some owned by celebrities, if that matters to you—all flanked by artwork with connections to Porsche's evolving design sensibilities. Some of those art connections are certain to be a stretch, but it'll be interesting to see how hard the curators tromp their accelerators to try to pull it off.
Photography continues to be a focus this fall as the Triangle Photography Consortium—an affiliation of nine museums, galleries and organizations—launches an impressive schedule of free exhibitions, public workshops and artist talks called Inspired by the Lens. The NCMA provides the backbone with shows by Carrie Levy and Brian Ulrich. Galleries such as Hillsborough's Daylight Project Space, Raleigh's Flanders Gallery, Durham's Through This Lens and Chapel Hill's FRANK Gallery put meat on those bones with programming and exhibitions, along with Cassilhaus and the Center for Documentary Studies.
Other autumnal highlights include the continued renaissance of downtown Durham art spaces, CAM Raleigh's attention to North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship awardees, and N.C. State's Gregg Museum hanging road shows in the African American Cultural Center Gallery and historic chancellor's residence while they finish fundraising for their new building.