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Hook to present “There was only this world, this looted, ventriloquized Earth”

September 22, 2021

Hook is pleased to present There was only this world, this looted, ventriloquized Earth curated by New York-based organizer and independent curator Francesca Altamura. “There was only this world, this looted, ventriloquized Earth,” a title taken from a work by Brooklyn-based artist Cole Lu, is an exhibition that brings together twenty-one emerging artists from sixteen countries, whose artistic practices, whether they are consciously aware of it or not, have been influenced by the chaos of the contemporary moment, and who have developed coping strategies and ways to uniquely bear witness to this moment.

The exhibition unfolds in three groupings: I have already been here*, We who look at the ruins and genuinely believe*, and In the house of the solitary*, which confront and elucidate the challenges confronted by living artists today. Artists whose work is featured in I have already been here, including Anna Afonina, Taína Cruz, Zeinab Diomandé, Stephano Espinoza Galarza, Vicente Matte, Opal Mae Ong, and Ricardo Partida, exaggerate and distort figurative representations in response to the experienced or imagined nightmare of global catastrophe. In We who look at the ruins and genuinely believe, artists including Nicholas Grafia and Mikołaj Sobczak, Cole Lu, Eleni Odysseos, Anjuli Rathod, Jia Sung, Astrid Terrazas, and Amalia Vekri, return to the past and dive deep into their psyches pulling from their dreams, the unconscious, folklore, and mythology, to seek solace, meaning and escape from the horrific events that have characterized their lifetimes.. In the house of the solitary features artists including Hwi Hahm, Christine Egaña Navin, Gaby Sahhar, Taehee Whang, Wong Ping, Phyllis Yao, and Frank Wang Yefang, whose work highlights the present day material culture in all its banality, superficiality, and hyperbole.

“There was only this world, this looted, ventriloquized Earth” is an exhibition that continues the long-term curatorial partnership between Francesca Altamura and Lizaveta Matveeva (St. Petersburg, Russia). The duo recently curated “I don’t know whether the Earth is spinning or not…” for the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, on view at and the Museum of Moscow in 2020. Confronted today with a global culture of mistrust, racism, nationalism, aggression, and inequality, as well as the ever-present anxiety about the existential threats of climate change, nuclear annihilation, and pestilence, the absurd has become an aesthetic lexicon in itself and a mode of survival that has universally permeated the artistic zeitgeist.

There was only this world, this looted, ventriloquized Earth is part of Hook’s ongoing program Hook Selects, which brings together exhibitions featuring artists from around the world to explore timely themes, ideas, and social undercurrents.

About Hook:

Hook is an online venue that brings together seasoned art collectors with established galleries to create a marketplace for viewing, buying, selling, and learning about art. Hook brings sophisticated collectors curated programming throughout the year, offering the variety of an art fair and the quality of a gallery exhibition from the comfort of their own home. In addition, Hook allows for a seamless transition to live communication in real time between artists, galleries and collectors through a video chat service that is integrated into the experience.



About the Curator:

Francesca Altamura is a curator and organizer living in New York (unceded Canarsie/Lenape lands). She recently curated “I don't know whether the Earth is spinning or not...,” with Lizaveta Matveeva, one of the Main Projects of the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. The exhibition is on view online at and was on view at the Museum of Moscow in 2020. She is the former Curatorial Assistant at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Altamura holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths, University of London.


Instagram: @itmefrankig

Press Contact:

Jake Nyquist, Founder, Hook


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