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everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.

July 23, 2022 @ 10:00 am - January 8, 2023 @ 5:00 pm PDT

Still from Kaari Upson's 'Split Eye'- a close-up green eye is bisected by a black thread

This exhibition of moving image installations, drawn from the Henry collection, spans a wide range of style and conceptual approaches. The title references Kurt Vonnegut’s seminal anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five, a non-linear, meta-fictional narrative in which the protagonist struggles to come to terms with the devastating realities of human existence. The author poses fundamental questions that we must all combat, ever more so in the present moment in history. How do we deal with tragedy and pain? How do we explain it? Can we prevent it? Are there laws to life, and if so, do humans have any say in what these are? Does free will even exist?

Both satirical and yet deeply moving, the title phrase is imagined as the character’s epitaph and summarizes the contradictions of his individual experience as well as the fragile concurrence of our collective existence: it is both impossibly false and yet deeply true. everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt. thus references a common thread running throughout this exhibition— the frailty, trauma, loss, and cruelty of the human condition that nonetheless is girded by an irrepressible desire for beauty, love, and connection. Via a myriad of formats and approaches, the artists in the exhibition suggest that we, as human beings, are ultimately responsible to acknowledge the heart-wrenching truth of life and still strive to create meaning within it.


July 23, 2022 @ 10:00 am PDT
January 8 @ 5:00 pm PDT
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Henry Art Gallery


Wheelchair accessible, Service Animals allowed
BIPOC-curated, BIPOC artist(s), Women curated, Women artist(s)
Event Type
Exhibition, Gallery, Visual Art, Film & Video
Pandemic Info


Henry Art Gallery
15th Ave NE &, NE 41st St
Seattle, WA 98195
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