Department of Art and Art History News

Art and Art History CAA reception and sessions to note

Fri. February 13, 2015

row of people in auditorium listening to lecture
Photo by Lawrence Peart.

The Department of Art and Art History invites all alumni, faculty, and students attending the College Art Association's (CAA) annual conference to an official reception. Connect with Jack Risley, chair, and fellow alumni, faculty, and students.

Friday, February 13, 5:30–7 pm
New York Hilton Midtown, 4th Floor, Green Room
1335 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) at 53rd Street.

Sessions with affiliated scholars:

Wednesday, February 11

9:30 am – Session: Mesoamerican Iconography: Interactions of Images and Texts, and Images as Text

Stephanie Michelle Strauss, PhD candidate in Art History: Tlamatinime or Tlacuiloque: Mexica Language Ideologies and the Role of Painter-Scribe in Aztec Society

Thursday, February 12

9:30 am – Session: Guerrilla Approaches to the Decorative Arts and Design

Carma R. Gorman, associate professor of Design: The Case for a Legal History of Industrial Design

Friday, February 13

9:30 am – Session: In the Field: Artists’ Use and Misuse of Social Science since 1960

Kate Green, PhD candidate in Art History: Psychotherapy, Authenticity, and Conceptual Art: Vito Acconci’s 1972 Performances at Sonnabend

12:30 pm – Session: Northern California Art Historians Old Spaces, New Narratives: Islamic Architecture in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Stephennie Mulder, associate professor of Art History: Abdülhamid and the ʿAlids: Ottoman Patronage of “Shi’i” Shrines in the Cemetery of Bab al-Ṣaghir in Damascus

Saturday, February 14

9:30 am – Session: Contemporary Art of Central America and its Diasporas

Tatiana Reinoza, PhD in Art History, 2009: Restaging Violence in the Diaspora

2:30 pm – Session: Imagining a US Latina/o Art History, Part II

Rose G. Salseda, PhD candidate in Art History: The Art History of Forgetting: Recovering Latino Art in Post-Riot Los Angeles


If you are a faculty, alumni, or student who is presenting at CAA, please email us your session information to be added to this list.

Q+A with Seripop's Yannick Desranleau and Chloe Lum

Wed. January 28, 2015

colorful paper and mixed media arranged haphazardly in room
Looming, 2013, screen printed paper, polyurethane foam, wood, paper mâché, felt-backed vinyl, fabric, paint, pantyhoses, fiber glass insulation batts, cardboard, plaster, hooks, pulleys, rope, found objects, 13' 9" x 25' 6" x 30' 3". Photo by Allan Kosmajac.

Where did you two meet? What was your first project together?

We met in the summer of 1999 at a Christian Marclay performance and started dating and playing music together soon after. As musicians and visuals artists, it made sense for us to make show posters so we did that for quite a long time. We had a couple of bands that performed locally/regionally before we started AIDS Wolf in 2003, shortly after we began making posters pretty seriously. Things converged for AIDS Wolf and we met a lot of likeminded people in other cities who’d invite us to play or record.

Many of the curators we worked with early on were people we met through the noise/noise rock scene so music, posters, and our gallery art all worked pretty symbiotically, our posters being collected by the Victoria & Albert Museum. A lot of people who are or were involved in noise/noise-rock are also involved with visual art so a lot of productive and inspiring meetings happened and relationships deepened from being on the North American and European gig circuit.

We often stayed with other artists and would do short term collaborations. To this day we get invitations to show our work or speak from people who we met through touring with our band or who collected our posters and are now working in galleries or art schools. Additionally, all that touring allowed us to visit galleries and museums all over the place and just absorb so much work.

Once we started doing a lot of our installation work, it made sense to slow down on our poster production because the installations where much more labor intensive. We disbanded AIDS Wolf in 2012, playing our last gigs in June of that year, in order to return to school and to be able to spend more time on our visual art. The last poster we made was for our final Montreal show and was a collaboration with AIDS Wolf guitarist Alexander Moskos, who now plays guitar in Dan’l Boone and performs solo as Drainolith.

How has your practice evolved over the last 15 years that you two have been working together?

Our interests and actions spanned may fields over the course of the years we have worked together. In the evolution of things, what we ended up producing, as fragmented and schizophrenic as it could have been, seems to always manage to inform or complement itself, either in the immediate, or by delayed response. Our association started by playing in the same band, while we were both doing our own art thing individually. Performance and installation were already our main focus then, and we saw the band as some kind of practice that was strongly related to that but just evolving in another realm — medium and audience-wise.

But still, this awareness of space and the physical environment around us, and an abstract sensibility to materials — being either physical matter or sounds — seems to have been the drive behind our projects. When we started doing posters, it was a way to get the existence of our band out in the world and a way for us to meet and forge alliances with people all over the world.

We also had this specific desire, beyond the formal ditties happening over the printed surface of the paper, that those objects would exist, evolve, and interact with the environment/space. And the city became that way this big laboratory.

Luckily there was this existing structure of people and small cultural institutions and favorable by-laws that enabled that. But it was crucial to prepare us for our return into sculpture and performance outside the context of music.

Since then, we are riffing on lessons taken from those experiences: how materials evolve in time, the quality and nature of the ‘performance’ of ‘actions by and with materials, and how this affected our comprehension of history and knowledge. We are fascinated by how relations between things and ‘actors’ can be complicated and unpredictable and how certainty or a sense of ‘security’ can bias our actions or decisions. It is a constant search and it gets more complicated and exhilarating at the same time.

mixed media fixed inside of scaffolding structure outside of brick building
Exegi monumentum aere perennius, 2014, scaffolding, mix media, 360" x 360" x 204". Photo by Gordon Hatt.
During your time at UT Austin, you will be doing an installation and performance in an outdoor space. What interests you about working in a non-gallery setting?

The setting is important and not at the same time. We think that any intervention should reveal an awareness of its site. Space is space and as neutral a gallery can be, well, each of them have their specifics. We really try to keep awareness of that in our works — so in a way being outside the gallery does not course things for us, the difference is there might not be four white walls around us while the performance happens.

Often convenience, or a necessity, dictates the space of the intervention, on top on the interest in the site and the nature of the work dictating for a particular setting.

Being in this courtyard space in the Art Building will also give us a chance to interact with aspects of architecture that we never had the chance to really encounter before. From the period of the building to the way the work will be viewed from the widows around us. This ‘agora’ type of setting brings us to concepts we have of ancient agoras or ideals of what ‘public’ spaces are for— this common construction of what should happen in one of those open (but ultimately still enclosed) civic spaces.

Have you spent time in Austin or the university before? What are you most looking forward to?

We’ve been to Austin a half dozen times, the first time to attend Flatstock, the poster convention that is part of SXSW and the other times to perform as AIDS Wolf. It’s a city that is easy to like, there’s good food, good music venues, enthused audiences, and a tons of interesting folks doing art and DIY stuff.

We’ve never spent any time at the university; it’s always been music venues, friends’ houses, and vegetarian restaurants. What we are most looking forward to about this visit is that we will be doing something totally new to us. In our work, we’ve often seen the decay of the material (such as the viewer walking on printed paper glued to the floor of the gallery) as a way that our work functions performatively. We’ve never used human performers, but instead precarious objects and fragile materials that would undergo stress in a normal gallery situation.

Since we will be working with actual performers but no strict script, we’ll be venturing into new territory for us that should be pretty exciting. We will be staging several performances that will likely be different from each other. We see this very much as a research project, from which we will learn from to stage further performance pieces using dancers or other performers and ephemeral materials.

Additional Programming:

Lecture, February 24, 5 pm

Performance, February 26, 5 pm

Exhibition at the School of Architecture Materials Lab, February 27 – March 27, 2015.

Beili Liu: Stratus

Mon. January 26, 2015

mylar sheets dipped in wax and hanging from ceiling in gray gallery space
Image courtesy of the artist.

Beili Liu presents a new sit-especific installation, Stratus, at The Grace Museum. The exhibition will be on display January 22 – April 25, 2015.

Anna Krachey featured on Humble Arts Foundation blog

Mon. January 26, 2015

while hexagonal and cube shapes overlapping on green background

Anna Krachey (MFA in Studio Art, 2008) was featured on the Humble Arts Foundation blog.

Sara Frantz: Between Borderlands

Mon. January 26, 2015

while hexagonal and cube shapes overlapping on green background

Sara Frantz (MFA in Studio Art, 2007) presents new work in Between Borderlands at Women and their Work. The exhibition is on display January 24 – March 19, 2015.