Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa and the Black Atlantic, Oberlin College
“Questions of Value and Bondage at a Hotel in London, March 1865”
In March of 1865, Dante Gabriel Rossetti encountered a child in the doorway of a London hotel. One year later, Rossetti presented that child as an androgynous, bejeweled, and servile rendering of blackness in his celebrated painting, The Beloved. This talk explores the implications of that encounter, and that rendering, for debates about the representation of enslavement and blackness in Rossetti’s own social circle, the wider Atlantic world in the 1860s, and among those who work with and against the troubled archive of Atlantic slavery.
Image: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Beloved (The Bride; The King’s Daughter). Oil on panel; 1865-1866; 1873. Tate Britain, London.
“Ken Lum: The Rules of the Game (of Art)”
Ken Lum will speak about what is for him the meaning of art, which he defines as living the life of the artist. While such a definition may sound romantic, living the life of an artist means a life where everything is relevant, from beautiful experiences to painful ones. It also means a life of profound misgivings about the art system in which art must operate. Lum will speak about how his mixed feelings about art has led to extensive travel and major curatorial and writerly initiatives.
Associate Professor of Art History, Dickinson College
“The Religion of Health: Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Cancer and the Phillips Brooks Monument”
In 1900, when the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens was diagnosed with cancer, he began experimenting with a dizzying array of medical cures and therapies from surgery to electric shock treatment to eating Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and “Fletcherizing.” Throughout his illness, and until his death in 1907, he also worked on the Phillips Brooks Monument, dedicated to the Boston preacher known for his compassionate presence in the sick room. This paper addresses the poignant interplay between the artist’s own body as it was consumed by disease and the production of the Brooks, which came to life as the sculptor worked and re-worked the folds in the preacher’s robes, his expression, gesture and stance.
Assistant Professor of History of Art on the Jye Chu Lectureship in Chinese Studies
Bryn Mawr College
“The Vision of Immortality in a Princely Stone Sarcophagus in Sixth-Century China”
Dated to 532 CE, Prince Yuan Mi’s lavishly engraved stone sarcophagus exemplifies a hitherto little understood Chinese visual strategy, i.e., using the imagery of diagonal gaze to make a persuasive visual argument to redeem the deceased’s tainted fame in the afterlife.
“Speculations on the Future of the Internet: A Call to Arms”
In this lecture, Dr. Omar Kholeif discusses the power structures that govern the Internet as we know it today, and draws on a variety of historical links, which could help us better understand how the Internet has altered the ways in which we see the world around us. He ends with a propositional structure for how we move forward in a networked age.
Dr. Omar Kholeif is a writer, curator, editor, and broadcaster based in London. He is the co-curator of the 14th Sharjah Biennial, the largest biennial exhibition in the Middle East and South Asia. His recent and forthcoming books include, Goodbye, World! Looking at Art in the Digital Age (Sternberg Press 2018) and The Artists Who Will Change The World (Thames and Hudson 2018). www.omarkholeif.com
Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“The First Emperor, the Chinese Empire, and the Wider World: Art and Material Culture of the Qin Dynasty”
By examining the art and material culture recovered through archaeology in the last fifty years, this presentation focuses on the First Emperor of China and the Empire that he created during the late third century B.C. It also explores the contact between China and other parts of the world, which resulted from the increased trade and exchange over the transcontinental Silk Road and through maritime routes across the oceans.
Director, Arcadia University Art Gallery
“Reconsidering the Exhibition as Medium”
The re-staging of Harald Szeemann’s “Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form,” for the 2013 Venice Biennale served as a dramatic reminder of how gallery display impacts our experience of art. Originally presented at the Bern Kunsthalle in 1969, its recent reconstruction (curated by Germano Celant, in dialogue with Thomas Demand and RemKoolhaas), foregrounded the ways in which our sensitivities to the staging of artworks has changed over time. The project also confirmed that the matrix of conditions that constitute exhibition making offer singular possibilities and restrictions that become more critical as new platforms of presentation emerge. Using examples of other re-stagings and a sampling of recent solo and group shows, this talk will explore the evolution of the exhibition as a medium and its impact on artmaking, curatorial practice, and questions of authorship and interpretation.
Director, Fundació Rafael Masó, Girona (Spain)
Lecturer in Catalan Studies, Stanford University
“A Different Grand Tour: Postcards from a Honeymoon”
In 1912 the Catalan architect Rafael Masó (1880-1935) took a seven-week honeymoon trip to France, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. Scholars have noted how crucial this trip was as it provided him with first-hand exposure to Secession and Regionalist architecture and design. Throughout the trip he purchased seventy postcards, but so far nobody has paid attention to the visual content of these documents. What did such iconographic choice mean, and what does it tell us? The lecture will focus primarily on Masó’s stay in Germany (including the Darmstadt’s Artist Colony, the Hellerau Garden City, and Munich), and will consider not only the written content but also the visual significance of the postcards he acquired, something not discussed in the existing literature. A closer analysis of the architect’s choice of itinerary, words, and pictures will provide us with a deeper understanding of his particular Grand Tour.