Willful blindness is a legal concept describing the deliberate intention of a defendant who had the opportunity and responsibility to be informed but who provided the excuse of ignorance. Extending this concept, willful blindness has become a social phenomenon that must not be ignored. The American entrepreneur and author of Willful Blindness (2011) Margaret Heffernan points out that “the problem with this is that everything outside that warm, safe circle is our blind spot.”

This final project curated by students from IESA’s MBA in Contemporary Art: Sales, Display & Collecting program explores the concept of caring and how dialogues can be created that allow us to understand, question and challenge our biases regarding fellow members of our society. Breakthrough + “Re-” has been made possible thanks to a partnership with Galerie Poggi and SOCIETIES.

The exhibition Willful Blindness showcases four artists: Babi Badalov, Larissa Fassler, Kapwani Kiwanga, and Shuk Pui Yu, with four distinctive artistic approaches that tackle our lost interest in social bonds. Babi Badalov draws attention to the fundamental rights of migrants and their geopolitical issues. Kapwani Kiwanga suggests how the obstacles imposed on racialized bodies in the public space are still perpetuated today. Larissa Fassler’s observation raises our concern on the interrelated relationships of people within complex urban environments. In addition to these artists represented by Galerie Poggi, a commission work from emerging artist, Shuk Pui Yu narrates the love/hate relationship between different roles in the art world and questions how we can reintroduce the idea of “caring” into an industry that lacks it. 

Margaret Heffernan writes: “You have to decide you are going to seek disconfirmation; you just can’t expect it spontaneously to emerge because it won’t happen” (Willful Blindness, 2011). We hope that this exhibition can reveal this disconfirmation and raise awareness about our current habits, resulting in discussion, reassessment, and reaffirmation of the values in our societies. 

The exhibition took place on October 29th at Galerie IESA (1 Cité Griset, 75011 Paris) , when guests got to experience the works of four fascinating artists.

A participatory discussion with artist duo IRMA NAME also took place on November 2nd. 

Enjoy the exhibition now through our VIRTUAL VISIT.

This exhibition is in partnership with Galerie Poggi and SOCIETIES.