Phil America: Failure of the American Dream

Phil America, The Jungle, San Jose, USA, 2014, Photo courtesy Phil America

Failure of the American Dream is an exhibition featuring video and installation created in 2014 by Phil America while he lived in The Jungle, the nickname for a tent city near Silicon Valley in San Jose, California. The Jungle was the largest encampment of homeless people in the United States at the time. The exhibition explores the realities of poverty in the United States that are frequently sensationalized or ignored in Western culture while sharing the humanity of an everyday epidemic.

The popularly understood ideology of "The American Dream" assumes that citizens have the opportunity to attain a level of financial and social status that will make them happy. Homelessness and the tent city are the anti-dream. People living in the tents have created housing and a community on their own terms, outside the laws of society. Their dream has been temporarily or permanently abandoned to focus on the immediate need for safety, food and shelter. Each person in The Jungle was promised this dream by their parents, their teachers, and has been denied; now their main focus is survival.

Phil America will live in the installation at CAM Raleigh and share his experiences with museum visitors from May 4 through May 8.

Read more about Failure of the American Dream

Start: January 31, 2016
End: May 8, 2016

The Ease of Fiction

The Ease of Fiction

March 3 – June 19, 2016

Image credits below

The Ease of Fiction presents the work of four African artists living in the United States as the foundation of a critical discussion about history, fact, and fiction. The artists, ruby onyinyechi amanze (b. 1982, Nigeria), Duhirwe Rushemeza (b. 1977, Rwanda), Sherin Guirguis (b. 1974, Egypt), and Meleko Mokgosi (b. 1981, Botswana), present recent paintings, drawings and sculptural works that explore issues of cultural identity, personal agency, and the very notion of "African art."

The exhibition’s title evokes the idea that people are often more comfortable accepting or believing what is told to them by those in power, rather than challenging and investigating the authenticity of information presented as historical fact. Interweaving their personal experiences and memories into broader historical contexts, these artists create work that is in strident opposition of passive acceptance.  

The artists' cultural backgrounds, as well as geographic diversity, create an opportunity for a provocative examination of varied perspectives of the truth. Although these artists are from four different African countries their work addresses universal issues that are relevant across all borders.

Curated by Dexter Wimberly

Profile photo of Dexter WimberlyDexter Wimberly is an independent curator based in New York. A passionate collector and supporter of the arts, Wimberly has exhibited the work of hundreds of artists in the U.S. and abroad. Wimberly maintains a critical dialogue with artists throughout the world by way of his exhibitions, public programs, and talks at galleries and public art spaces. Wimberly is the former Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International (ICI). He currently serves on the board of The Laundromat Project. Wimberly has organized exhibitions and programs for Mixed Greens Gallery; Driscoll Babcock Galleries; 101 Exhibit; Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art; bitforms gallery; Koki Arts, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA); and The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; among others.

Learn more about The Ease of Fiction 

Start: March 3, 2016
End: June 19, 2016

Phil America live at CAM: 24 for 4

Phil America in The Jungle

Phil America, The Jungle, San Jose, USA, 2014, Photo courtesy Phil America

May 4 - 8: Phil America is 24 for 4 at CAM Raleigh

Performance and installation artist, Phil America, who lived in The Jungle, America’s largest homeless encampment, will return to live in CAM Raleigh's Media Lab in his installation, Failure of the American Dream for the final four days (May 4-8) of his exhibition. Meet the artist and learn more about the project and the people who inspired it. This is a rare experience for visitors to meet with Phil and engage in one-on-one conversations and participate in the experience of a performative art piece.

Phil America t-shirts are available in the Museum Store. All proceeds from t-shirt sales benefit Clark’s Promise.

Start: May 4, 2016
End: May 8, 2016

Lunch with Phil America

Phil America in The Jungle

Phil America, The Jungle, San Jose, USA, 2014, Photo courtesy Phil America

Thursday, May 5, 12-2PM

Phil America will host a lunch in his installation, Failure of the America Dream. This unique experience is a performance piece in which visitors are immersed in the artist’s installation while he prepares and serves food similar to what he ate while living in The Jungle. This intimate lunch with the artist engages visitors in the challenges of everyday life for many Americans. Free to the public, please RSVP to

Start: May 5, 2016 12:00 pm
End: May 5, 2016 2:00 pm

Arthouse 2016

Arthouse 2016 graphic

7-8 PM   //   Host Committee Celebration
8-11 PM  //   Arthouse

Please join us! CAM Raleigh's annual signature fundraiser is an extraordinary gathering of friends and community leaders celebrating our fifth year in the Warehouse District. The evening features dazzling food, vibrant cocktails, incredible music and the opportunity to buy a curated collection of unforgettable art and experiences.

Cocktail attire. Valet parking provided by Capital Parking.

Get tickets to Arthouse 2016!

Start: May 6, 2016 8:00 pm
End: May 6, 2016 11:00 pm