College Art Association

CAA News Today

2015 Annual Conference Website Is Live

posted by September 30, 2014

The website for the 103rd Annual Conference in New York City, to be held from Wednesday, February 11 to Saturday, February 14, 2015 at the Hilton New York Midtown, is now live. Get a taste of conference highlights and discover all that comes with registration, including access to all program sessions and admission to the Book and Trade Fair.

The CAA Annual Conference is the world’s largest international forum for professionals in the visual arts, offering more than two hundred stimulating sessions, panel discussions, roundtables, and meetings. CAA anticipates that more than five thousand artists, art historians, students, curators, critics, educators, art administrators, and museum professionals will be in attendance at the New York Hilton Midtown, where most sessions and events will take place.

Online registration is now open, and hotel reservations and travel accommodations can be booked—don’t forget to use the exclusive CAA discount codes to save money! Register before the early deadline, December 12, to get the lowest rate and ensure your place in the Directory of Attendees. You may also purchase tickets for special events such as the Opening Reception at the Museum of Modern Art following the presentation of the annual Awards for Distinction, as well as for professional-development workshops on a variety of topics for artists and scholars.

CAA will regularly update the conference website in the months leading up to the four-day event, so please be sure to check back often.

Averaging more than 40,000 unique visitors per month, the Annual Conference website is the essential source for up-to-the-minute updates regarding registration, session listings, and hotel and travel discounts, and more. For those interested in reaching this captive audience, please download the Website Advertising Reservation and Contract for rates and terms.

We look forward to seeing you in New York!

Filed under: Annual Conference

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Detroit Institute of Arts Will Sue If the City’s Bankruptcy Plan Is Not Approved

The Detroit Institute of Arts is prepared to sue to prevent the sale of its collection if Detroit’s plan for exiting bankruptcy is not approved, the museum’s chief operating officer told the US Bankruptcy Court last week. When Detroit filed for the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy fourteen months ago, the museum began preparing for possible litigation to keep its artworks from being sold to pay city creditors. (Read more from Reuters.)

What to Expect from Artist Residencies

Artist residencies can be an incredible way to expand and improve your art practice, but getting into the right one can be a challenge. I’ve completed residency programs in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Through this process, I’ve learned how to pick the right residency and how to use one residency experience to gain another. Here’s my advice for anyone wishing to dive into the artist residency circuit. (Read more from BurnAway.)

Artists Raising Kids: Thoughts on How to Have It All

This summer, Creative Capital conducted a survey entitled “Artists-As-Parents” to find out how working artists sustain their practice while also being busy parents (or prepare themselves to do so as parents-to-be). We received nearly six hundred responses, giving us a good idea of the profile of artist-parents in our network, the challenges they face, and the strategies they use to maximize their time and productivity. (Read more from Creative Capital.)

Scholars Take Aim at Student Evaluations’ “Air of Objectivity”

Student course evaluations are often misused statistically and shed little light on the quality of teaching, two scholars at the University of California, Berkeley, argue in the draft of a new paper. Even though evaluations have become ubiquitous in academe, they remain controversial because they often assume a high-stakes role in determining tenure and promotion. But they persist because they are easy to produce, administer, and tabulate, said Philip B. Stark, a professor of statistics at Berkeley, in an interview. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

We Asked Twenty Women “Is the Art World Biased?” Here’s What They Said

Artnet News has noticed that bias, both conscious and unconscious, is rampant throughout the world. It’s in the umpteenth exhibition not featuring a woman. It’s in the evening auction whose top winners are male. It’s in art schools the world over, germinating and putting down roots. What to do? We canvassed women collectors, dealers, curators, advisers, and artists to find out their responses to the question “Is the art world biased?” (Read more from Artnet News.)

Why Original Artworks Move Us More Than Reproductions

Now that we can view high-definition reproductions of virtually any artwork from our computer screens, why do people visit art museums anyway? Sure, arranging individual pieces into compelling exhibitions enhances our appreciation, but it’s doubtful that people come for the curation. Clearly, encountering original artworks in person is a unique experience. But why? (Read more from Pacific Standard.)

Who Funds the Arts and Why We Should Care

Anyone passing through Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall one recent Saturday might have witnessed an unscheduled performance by a group of people writhing beneath a huge square of black cloth. Taking its motif from the Malevich exhibition at Tate, the event was designed to flag the museum’s refusal to reveal details of its financial relationship with BP. It was the latest in a series of protests about the sponsorship of institutions—among them the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery—by the energy giant responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010. (Read more from the Financial Times.)

Crimes against Dissertation Humanities

Since I left academia in 2013, I’ve had a part-time job as something called a “dissertation coach.” I work one-on-one with a stable of about a dozen private clients, helping them manage both their workload and the emotional vicissitudes of graduate school. And no matter their field—I’ve worked with scientists, engineers, sociologists, psychologists, historians, and literary scholars—one thing remains the same: my services simply would not be necessary if the faculty advisers of the world saw fit to do their jobs. (Read more from Vitae.)

Filed under: CAA News

Dear Colleague,

We are writing to ask for your insights regarding practices in new media by taking the following survey: http://bit.ly/CAAsurveythis should take approximately 20 minutes for you to complete.

The information gathered from this survey will be used to assist the CAA Professional Practices Committee Taskforce on updating and improving the existing CAA Guidelines for Faculty Teaching in New Media, which can be found at http://www.collegeart.org/guidelines/newmedia07. This document is a description of circumstances, standards, and practices within the field. Its purpose is to assist with faculty hiring, promotion and tenure, workload, compensation, funding, and support in new media, and to provide information about faculty working in this area that could be used in making accurate and comprehensive evaluations.

Our aim is to revise these guidelines into order to the better reflect current practices, and to ensure that it is a useful document for all stakeholders. In February 2015 we will be making initial recommendations for revision, based on this survey and interviews with those in the field. Our goal is to have the updated document(s) approved by the CAA Board by May 2016.

If you are interested in being interviewed by our committee members, please contact us at caanewmediataskforce@gmail.com. In addition, we ask that you forward this email to your colleagues, whose input is valuable. In addition to New Media Faculty, we would especially like to involve colleagues with administrative duties overseeing practitioners who work with new media as well as part-time and contingent faculty in this survey.

The survey will end on November 15, 2014.

We thank you for your time, and look forward to your input.

Sincerely,

CAA Professional Practices Committee Taskforce on New Media Guidelines:

Paul Catanese, Columbia College Chicago
Rachel Clarke, California State University, Sacramento
Chris Coleman, University of Denver
Michael Grillo, The University of Maine
Heidi May, Columbus State University
Ellen Mueller, West Virginia Wesleyan College
Joanna Spitzner, Syracuse University
Amy Youngs, The Ohio State University

Filed under: Committees, Surveys — Tags:

JPASS for CAA Members

posted by September 23, 2014

JPASS, a new JSTOR access plan for individuals, is ideal for CAA members who want individual access to JSTOR’s rich archival collections. It is especially valuable for individuals without institutional access; faculty members at institutions with limited access to JSTOR; and adjuncts with irregular access to library resources. Regardless of your professional affiliation, JPASS serves as your personal library card to the expansive selection of journals on JSTOR.

As part of your CAA membership, you may purchase a one-year JPASS access plan for $99—a 50 percent discount on the listed rate!

JPASS includes unlimited reading and up to 120 article downloads—not only to The Art Bulletin and Art Journal but also to more than 1,500 humanities, social science, and science journals in the JSTOR archival collections, including Design Issues, Gesta, Muqarnas, and October.

CAA invites you to review the JPASS collections at http://jpass.jstor.org/collections, where you can view all the journal titles and date ranges that are available to JPASS subscribers, as well as filter titles by subject to help you discover publications of interest to you.

Dedicated support personnel for JPASS are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–5:30 PM EDT. You can also get real-time support via Twitter: @JSTORSupport. Here are other ways to learn more:

To use your member discount to sign up for JPASS, log into your CAA account and click the Member Benefits link on the left and then refer to the JPASS instructions which includes the JSTOR custom link. This will admit you to the JPASS purchase website for CAA members.

JSTOR provides access to the complete back runs of CAA’s journals and preserves them in a long-term archive. Users may search, browse, view, and print full-text, high-resolution PDFs of articles from The Art Bulletin (published since 1913) and Art Journal (published since 1929). Coverage in JSTOR includes the journals’ previous titles from their first issues through 2010. Because of a moving wall that changes annually, the most recent three years (2011–13) are not yet available.

The Art Bulletin and Art Journal are available through JSTOR’s Arts & Sciences III Collection. Users at participating institutions can gain access to these two journals through their institutions—contact your librarian to find out if you are eligible and, if so, how to access the journals. In a separate benefit, CAA offers online access to back issues of its two print publications for CAA members unaffiliated with an institution for $20 a year through a special arrangement with JSTOR. Please contact CAA’s Member Services if you have questions about this benefit.

You can review the tables of contents for The Art Bulletin (1996–present) on the CAA website and for Art Journal (1998–present) on its own website.

David Rosand: In Memoriam

posted by September 19, 2014

Paula Carabell received her PhD from Columbia University in 1994 with a dissertation on the work of Michelangelo and Titian. She has published on Renaissance and contemporary art and currently teaches at Pratt Institute.

JDavid Rosand

David Rosand

It is with great sadness that I write that David Rosand, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History Emeritus at Columbia University, died on August 8, 2014, at the age of 75. Known for his work on Titian and Veronese and for his breadth of knowledge in the field, he maintained a long association with Columbia, which he attended as both an undergraduate and a graduate student, subsequently joining the faculty of the Department of Art History and Archaeology in 1964, where he remained until he taught his last class in 2013. Rosand’s many students will remember him as a kind, generous, erudite, and elegant scholar who extended his expertise and help even to those whose areas of research went beyond his own field, the Italian Renaissance.

Rosand was, above all, a passionate and dedicated advocate of the art of Renaissance Venice, An active member of Save Venice, he served on the foundation’s board of directors from 1998 onward and acted as project director from 2003 until his death. So that future generations might also come to know and love Venice, he was instrumental in acquiring the residence of one his own mentors and colleagues, Michelangelo Murano, past director of the Ca’ d’Oro museum, which now serves as the Columbia University Center for Study in Venice at Casa Murano. This seems a fitting legacy for one who, as a graduate student, expressed concern to his teacher, the legendary Rudolf Wittkower, that Venice was sinking—to which Wittkower replied, “Tsk, tsk, it will be there as long as you need it.” And thankfully for all who heard him lecture or who read his work, so it was.

It was, of course, to the art of Titian that he dedicated the largest part of his career. As an undergraduate at Columbia in the 1950s, Rosand, who had been an editor and cartoonist for the school’s humor magazine the Jester, had considered becoming a painter and, as such, would have become part of the Abstract Expressionist movement. This, however, never came to pass despite encouragement and an offer of studio space from his undergraduate mentor. In an oft-repeated story, Rosand recalled that “the prospect of being alone with a canvas so frightened me that I came back and threw myself into art history.” It was, however, the idea of the brushstroke and the painterly gesture that ultimately stayed with him, and the transition from the New York School of painting to the art of the Serenissima proved to be a natural one. As the artist Willem de Kooning had pointed out, “flesh is the reason that oil paint was invented,” and Rosand explored this notion most thoroughly in the work of Titian. Standing with him once at the Titian, Prince of Painters exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, I marveled at how intensely he searched the surface of the canvas, how he seemed to perceive nuances of painterly gesture that it appeared only he could see. And indeed it was the interaction of oil paint and canvas, of pen and paper, of chisel and stone, to which Rosand always returned. His injunction to “always start with the object” proved to be sound advice in an age of art-historical scholarship that all too often turned to issues that seemed to eschew the very act of image making.

David Rosand

David Rosand at the Accadenua Gallery in Venice

Rosand was an eloquent writer who instilled in his students an appreciation for the poetic aspects of both word and image. Whether it was about Titian’s sensual poesia created for Philip II or the final Pietà that the artist had intended for his own tomb, Rosand made one aware of the deeper levels of meaning that adhered to the work itself, most notably, the pathos inherent in the art of painting.

It is to that sense of pathos that we return upon his passing. It is not only that we will be deprived of further publications like his many contributions to scholarly journals or such major works as Painting in Cinquecento Venice: Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto (1982), The Meaning of the Mark: Leonardo and Titian (1988), and Myths of Venice: The Figuration of a State (2001), plus important monographs on Titian and Veronese, but to the man himself. To those who knew him, we will miss the way that Rosand seem to glide through the halls of Schermerhorn, how in the classroom his lectures seemed to meander in an evocative circle of images and ideas and then culminate in a burst of wisdom and insight, and, of course, his favorite call to arms, “coraggio,” when we began to question our own work.

Rosand was accorded many honors and earned the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates in 1997 and the Award for Distinguished Service to the Core Curriculum from the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia in 2000. He received recognition from such organizations as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In May 2014, Rosand was awarded the degree of doctor of letters, honoris causa, from Columbia to recognize his many contributions to the field of art history and to the life of the university.

David Rosand, who died of cardiac amyloidosis, is survived by his wife Ellen Rosand, professor of music at Yale University; by his sons Jonathan, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Eric, a senior counterterrorism policy official at the US State Department; and by five grandsons. He will be greatly missed by the many whose lives he touched.

Filed under: Obituaries

John M. Rosenfield: In Memoriam

posted by September 18, 2014

Richard Edwards is professor emeritus of the history of Chinese art at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

John M. Rosenfield

John M. Rosenfield

My recollections of John M. Rosenfield, one of the preeminent historians and curators of Asian Art who taught for decades at Harvard University, are vivid and convey my sense of loss upon learning of his death, on December 16, 2013, at the age of 89. We shared the same “vibrations” as we passed through the life of our careers, hopefully to our mutual profit but certainly to mine. His book on Chōgen’s wooden portraiture is beside me as I write these words.

Rosenfield was a consistently energetic force in our field from the time we were in graduate school together. Our view of the Far East was nurtured during the 1950s in the musty yet friendly basement environment of Harvard’s Rubell Library, where the books on Asian art were kept, under the guiding hand of Benjamin Rowland.

John had an extraordinary sense of personal relations. We will never forget how closely related he was to this personal approach. He was not just a professional. He was a great man because he was a warm-hearted person, one whom you could always meet on a personal level, a quality seldom found in those too wrapped up in their professional duties and accomplishments.

It goes without saying we shared an interest in the world of art, but in addition his memory is warmly related to activities of our whole family. Along with his intellectual skill, this made him a great man to us. We lived in the same rented house serially, at Teramachi Imadegawa-angaru Junenji-mai in Kyoto, not far from the Imperial Palace grounds, in 1958–59. Later the Rosenfields lived there in 1964, and we took up occupancy again in the summer of 1964 after their departure.

John reached out to my children and family, who remember how welcoming he and his wife Ella were when we stopped over in Los Angeles and stayed with them on our way to the Far East. He was especially helpful to my daughter, Joan, a college sophomore at the time (1968/69), who was apartment hunting in Boston having found a summer job there. She did not meet with immediate success, and as John drove her to various locations he reassured her that the “Perfect Pumpkin is somewhere,” instilling hope that the ideal apartment was just around the corner. If one is willing to share family matters with a friend, it isa clear indication of resilience in dealing with the inevitable problems of living.

His kindness to our family was an emanation of warmth from his own with Ella and his two children, Sarah and Paul Thomas. My lateness in expressing my thoughts in no way diminishes the shock and bereavement felt at having to relinquish such a constant friend and insightful scholar so superior in humanity. Would that he were still working among us.

Filed under: Obituaries

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Introduction to 2012–13 Humanities Departmental Survey

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences initiated the Humanities Departmental Survey, first administered in 2008, to fill critical gaps in knowledge about the state of the humanities in higher education—specifically, about the number of faculty and students in the field and the role of humanities departments in their institutions and society. Apart from trends in the number of students receiving degrees in humanities disciplines, data sources about the state of the humanities at the national level have fallen away over the past fifteen years, leaving decision-makers without key guideposts during a time of change in higher education. (Read more from Humanities Indicators.)

On Trigger Warnings

A current threat to academic freedom in the classroom comes from a demand that teachers provide warnings in advance if assigned material contains anything that might trigger difficult emotional responses for students. This follows from earlier calls not to offend students’ sensibilities by introducing material that challenges their values and beliefs. The specific call for “trigger warnings” began in the blogosphere as a caution about graphic descriptions of rape on feminist sites, and has now migrated to university campuses in the form of requirements or proposals that students be alerted to all manner of topics that some believe may deeply offend and even set off a PTSD response in some individuals. (Read more from the American Association of University Professors.)

Creative Schools: The Artists Taking Art Education into Their Own Hands

Several artists and arts professionals, spotting the same or similar failures in the UK’s official education programs at both schools and universities, have taken matters into their own hands. If the government’s curriculum changes, funding cuts, and fees are barring the way to education for many aspiring artists, independent initiatives might offer alternative routes into the creative industry. Who’s leading the way? (Read more from Apollo.)

Getting a Reference When You’re New

I just graduated with my PhD and am beginning my job as a one-year visiting assistant professor this fall. My first applications for this year’s job market are due about two weeks after the semester starts; most applications will be due by midterm. Will hiring committees be expecting a recommendation from my new colleagues? I don’t think they would be able to write a strong letter after knowing me for a month, but I also don’t want the lack of letters to throw up any red flags. (Read more from Vitae.)

Peer Review and Careers

I have no doubt that the humanities disciplines are, on the whole, the worst offenders when it comes to how long it takes to generate reader reports, and to move an article from an initial submission to a finished, published product. If it can take two years to publish humanities research in some traditional, print-based journals—and I’m talking articles here, not books—that lag makes it harder than ever to defend the project of humanities disciplines. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Hidden Monuments under Stonehenge Revealed by High-Tech Mapping

An astonishing complex of ancient monuments, buildings, and barrows has lain hidden and unsuspected beneath the Stonehenge area for thousands of years. Scientists discovered the site using sophisticated techniques to see underground, announcing the finds last week. Among the discoveries are seventeen ritual monuments, including the remains of a massive “house of the dead,” hundreds of burial mounds, and evidence of a possible processional route around Stonehenge itself. (Read more from National Geographic.)

How Okwui Enwezor Changed the Art World

Since his 1996 breakthrough as a curator of In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940 to Present, an exhibition of thirty African photographers at the Guggenheim Museum, Okwui Enwezor has alternated between ambitious international exhibitions that seek to define their moment—biennials in Johannesburg, Gwangju, and beyond, along with the Paris Triennale in 2012—and historically driven, encyclopedic museum shows centered on topics such as African liberation movements in the twentieth century, the arc of apartheid, and the use of archive material in contemporary art. (Read more from the Wall Street Journal.)

Apply Now for Sustaining Digital Resources: A Course for Digital Project Leaders

Ithaka S+R will again offer its highly successful course, “Sustaining Digital Resources: A Course for Digital Project Leaders,” in 2015. If you are responsible for the future vitality and impact of a digital initiative, Ithaka S+R encourages you to apply. The application deadline is October 15, 2014. (Read more from Ithaka S+R.)

Filed under: CAA News

For the 2015 Annual Conference in New York, the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee seeks established professionals to volunteer as practice interviewers for the Mock Interview Sessions. Participating as an interviewer is an excellent way to serve the field and to assist with the professional development of the next generation of artists and scholars.

In these sessions, interviewers pose as a prospective employer, speaking with individuals in a scenario similar to the Interview Hall at the conference. Each session is composed of approximately 10–15 minutes of interview questions and a quick review of the application packet, followed by 5–10 minutes of candid feedback. Whenever possible, the committee matches interviewers and interviewees based on medium or discipline.

Interested candidates must be current CAA members and prepared to give six successive twenty-minute interviews with feedback in a two-hour period on one or both of these days: Thursday, February 12, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM and 3:00–5:00 PM; and Friday, February 13, 9:00–11:00 AM and 1:00–3:00 PM. Conference registration, while encouraged, is not required to be a mock interviewer. Desired for the sessions are art historians, art educators, designers, museum-studies professionals, critics, curators, and studio artists with tenure and/or experience on a search committee. You may volunteer for one, two, three, or all four Mock Interview Sessions.

Please send your name, affiliation, position, contact information, and the days and times that you are available to Megan Koza Young, chair of the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee. Deadline: January 31, 2015.

The Mock Interview Sessions are not intended as a screening process by institutions seeking new hires.

Image: A Mock Interview at the 2012 Annual Conference (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Students and emerging professionals have the opportunity to sign up for a twenty-minute practice interview at the 2015 Annual Conference in New York. Organized by the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee, Mock Interview Sessions give participants the chance to practice their interview skills one on one with a seasoned professional, improve their effectiveness during interviews, and hone their elevator speech. Interviewers also provide candid feedback on application packets.

Mock Interview Sessions are offered free of charge; you must be a CAA member to participate. Sessions are filled by appointment only and scheduled for Thursday, February 12, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM and 3:00–5:00 PM; and Friday, February 13, 9:00–11:00 AM and 1:00–3:00 PM. Conference registration, while encouraged, is not necessary to participate.

To apply, download, complete, and send the 2015 Mock Interview Sessions Enrollment Form to Megan Koza Young, chair of the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee, by email to sepccaa@gmail.com or by mail to: 706 Webster Street, New Orleans, LA 70118. You may enroll in one twenty-minute session. Deadline: February 5, 2015.

You will be notified of your appointment day and time by email. Please bring your application packet, including cover letter, CV, and other materials related to jobs in your field. The Student and Emerging Professionals Committee will make every effort to accommodate all applicants; however, space is limited.

Onsite enrollment will be limited and first-come, first-served. Sign up in the Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge starting on Wednesday, February 11, at 4:00 PM.

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship. The following exhibitions and events should not be missed. Check the archive of CWA Picks at the bottom of the page, as several museum and gallery shows listed in previous months may still be on view or touring.

September 2014

Simone Forti Crescent Roll

Simone Forti, Crescent Roll in an unknown venue in New York, 1979, gelatin silver print, (photograph © Nathaniel Tileston)

Thinking with the Body: A Retrospective in Motion
Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Mönchsberg 32, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
July 18–November 9, 2014

Museum der Moderne Salzburg presents the first comprehensive retrospective of the significant work of the “movement artist” Simone Forti (b. 1935, Florence). The program for Thinking with the Body: A Retrospective in Motion includes numerous performances, many of them presented in live enactments, as well as an exhibition of the artist’s sculpture, drawing, work with holograms and sound, and video that demonstrates her strikingly broad creative practice.

A choreographer, dancer, artist, and writer, Forti figured prominently in postmodern dance and Minimal art. She has been engaged with kinesthetic awareness and composition, dedicating herself to experimentation and improvisation. Her artistic projects include collaborations with other artists, such as the musicians Charlemagne Palestine and Peter Van Riper. In the early 1960s, together with dancers including Steve Paxton and Yvonne Rainer, Forti introduced movements from everyday life, revolutionizing the idea of dance and performance art. When living near the zoo in Rome in the late 1960s, she began to develop performance pieces based on the movements of animals. Forti also explored working with minimalist objects made of simple materials. In her most recent works, the News Animations, she includes spoken words in her dance, evidencing her ongoing interest in incorporating current events into movement. Through these works, the artist states that physicality and the language relationship to thought are pretty basic to us.

During the duration of the exhibition, students at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance will enact Forti’s famous Dance Constructions (1960–61) and other performance pieces in the galleries and in public spaces.

Annette Messager: Motion/Emotion
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
July 24–October 26, 2014

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia celebrates the work of the internationally renowned French artist Annette Messager with the artist’s first retrospective in Australia. Messager’s diverse practice encompass drawing, artist’s books, photography, sculpture, and installation and is characterized by her modest choice of materials (clothing, stuffed toys, yarn, etc.), images culled from pop culture, a multifaceted toying with language, and the underpinning centrality of the body.

As put by the curator of the show, Rachel Kent, “since her debut in the Paris art scene in 1971–72, Messager has created an eccentric menagerie of creatures” whose often hybrid nature captures the “complexity of life as well as the mythologies, superstitions, and vanities that underpin it—the shadowy ‘other’ within us all. From her earliest works exploring concepts of the feminine, to works of the 1980s that explore hybrid beings or ‘chimeras,’ to later works featuring dismembered soft toys, unraveled woolen sweaters, and hand-stitched limbs and organs, the body remains central, while identity is destabilized.”

Featuring works from the early 1970s to the present, including her large kinetic installations, Annette Messager: Motion/Emotion reflects a crucial duality—motion and emotion—that underpins the artist’s practice and infatuation with what she describes as the fantastic in everyday life, rather than in the imagination. While motion is central to Messager’s recent works—whether employing mechanical elements, complex inflating mechanisms, household objects, or the movement of the spectator—it is by “probing the body from outside and within” that Messager’s work reveals “the keen interest in humanity and fragile, emotional core” that this exhibition seeks to highlight.

Ewa Partum: Installations and Provocations
Limerick City Gallery of Art
Carnegie Building, Pery Square, Limerick, Ireland
July 17–September 14, 2014

Limerick City Gallery of Art presents the first exhibition of Ewa Partum’s work in Ireland, examining notions of gestural and symbolic “public place.” Defining the essence of her work through the tautology of “the act of thought” and the “act of art,” Partum (b. 1945, Grodzisk Mazowiecki) belongs to the first generation of the Polish conceptual avant-garde and is a pioneer of feminist art. Embedded in the mail-art tradition, concrete poetry, and performance, and with a language-oriented conceptual spine, her work, since the mid 1960s, has variously and provocatively touched upon such issues as the notion of public space, the situation of women, female subjectivity, and the Polish political context. She was the first woman artist to encroach upon public space in the nude in Poland, publicly making a value statement about being a female artist, basing her art and its vocabulary on her specific experience as a woman, and connecting her artistic gestures with political statements and a visible presence in the public. Her work includes actions, objects, photography, films that she herself calls “tautological cinema,” visual poetry performances, and mail art.

For a long time the reception of Partum’s work was hampered by East–West division, and following the imposition of martial law in Poland she left her country to live in Berlin (since 1983). Her 2006 retrospective in Gdansk and her inclusion in Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution (2007–8) have marked her recent international acknowledgment as one of the leading figures of feminist and conceptual avant-garde in Poland and beyond.

Three Person Show: Tamar Ettun, Monika Sziladi, Aimee Burg
Bosi Contemporary
48 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
September 17–October 18, 2014

Curated by Naomi Lev, this exhibition explores the distinct role of object-human relationship as manifested in the work of three New York–based artists: Tamar Ettun, Monika Sziladi, and Aimee Burg, all 2010 graduates of the Yale MFA program but of diverse cultural origins and practices.

Incorporating repetitive and meditative tasks using metaphoric objects from everyday life, Burg’s installation revolves around the notion of rituals and the suspension of time. Her recycling of mundane objects of everyday rituals renders them archeological artifacts that preserve ancient ceremonial events. The installation’s dynamic presence plays with the relevance of “time” by bringing the past into a science fiction–like future.

In her recent series of works, Ettun explores the concept of “neuron mirroring.” Originally defined as “mirror neuron,” the term refers to a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Her sculptures, video, and onsite installation are a reflection of a longer process, which traces the correspondence between objects and bodies, as well as sculptures and movement. As she often states, in her works the body becomes sculptural and the objects become performative.

Through a photographic process Sziladi creates unique digital collages that are constructed from scenes she shoots at events, conventions, and meet-ups of various subcultures that communicate through social networks. In her most recent series, Prisoners of Our Own Device, she enhances moments of the complex physical and psychological exchange we develop with objects, garments, architecture, devices, or other people with which we surround ourselves.

Reflections on the Aftermath: Lydda Airport
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Queen’s Road, Bristol BS8 1RL, United Kingdom
July 26, 2014–January 4, 2015

The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, in partnership with Arnolfini, presents Lydda Airport by the Palestinian artist Emily Jacir (b. Bethlehem, 1970), as part of the program “Reflections on the Aftermath: Global to Local.” Through a subtle and delicate narrative set in an airport built in Palestine in 1936 by the British Mandate, Jacir considers politics, place, and history. While this haunting film was shown previously in New York (2009) and at the Sharjah Biennial (2010), its screening in the United Kingdom in the context of a program that reflects on the impact of the First World War around the globe becomes particularly meaningful.

Lydda Airport, an important stop along the empire route for the British government, is shown under construction and deserted except for the figure of Jacir and the main character, Hannibal, one of the largest passenger planes in the world at the time, that disappeared in 1940 over the Gulf of Oman on its way to Sharjah. The film also invokes the story of Amelia Earhart, the pioneering pilot who crossed the Atlantic Ocean on her own in 1932 and disappeared over the Pacific in her journey around the world in 1937.

Jacir—an artist known for her historical narratives through photography, film, installation, social intervention, writing, and sound—wrote, directed, performed, and created the soundtrack for this film. The animation was created using archive footage from the Library of Congress as well as original aerial photographs taken by Geoffrey Grierson. The exhibition also includes the artist’s re-creation of the original proposed model of the airport, a solid representation that contrasts with the fragile narrative of a film that exacerbates the experience of absence and disappearance.

Geta Brătescu / MATRIX 254
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
University of California, Woo Hon Fai Hall, 2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720
July 25–September 28, 2014

Organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, MATRIX 254 features the first solo exhibition in an American museum of the Romanian artist Geta Brătescu (b. 1926, Ploesti). Brătescu is a central figure in postwar Romanian art. With a practice that spans a wide range of media, such as illustration, graphic design, drawing, video, textiles, performance, installation, photography, and printmaking, the artist defines herself as a natural drawer. In her own words: “For me, the line is the essence. Drawing is the foundation of my language. I draw with a pencil, I draw with scissors … with anything.”

Having maintained a rigorous and mostly secluded studio practice that continues into the present, Brătescu exhibited regularly in Romania throughout her career. She has chosen to remain in Romania during the Communist times, and she feels it was the right choice. However, due primarily to Communist totalitarian regime (1967–89) and the subsequent political isolation of the country, Brătescu’s work was little known to international audiences until fairly recently.

In this context, MATRIX 254 presents a focused selection of the artists’ key works made between 1974 and 2000, in which the space of Brătescu’s studio assumes an essential position within the artist’s oeuvre. In her early video The Studio (1978), we can see the artist creating inside this intimate room surrounded by her artworks, an environment that captures the playful, experimental, and feminine (as she defines it) approach that characterizes her practice, making also evident her frequent use of role playing and self-portraiture.

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