Department of Art and Art History Faculty

Anna Collette presents exhibition at Hampshire College's Jerome Liebling Center

Fri. November 20, 2015

Dead tree branches in front of gray sky
Image courtesy of the artist.

Professor Anna Collette is featured in a solo exhibition entitled Gathering Ground at Hampshire College's Jerome Liebling Center. Gathering Ground will be on view through December 14.

An excerpt from Eddie Chambers’ paper entitled “We Might Not Be Surprised: Visualizing Slavery and the Slave Ship in the Works of Charles Campbell and Mary Evans”

Tue. November 24, 2015

Associate Professor Eddie Chambers contributed a chapter to the book, Visualizing Slavery: Art Across the African Diaspora (Liverpool University Press, December 2015). An excerpt from Chambers’ chapter entitled “We Might Not Be Surprised: Visualizing Slavery and the Slave Ship in the Works of Charles Campbell and Mary Evans” follows:

 

white paper cut out on pink
Mary Evans, Ship Shape, 2011, cms paper, 30 x 37 inches.

One of the most fascinating aspects of contemporary artists’ attempts to visualize slavery is the extent to which such images relate as much to the present-day, as they might to the historical traumas and experiences they seek to reference. Though contemporary artists may lay claim to, or may utilize, 18th or 19th century imagery in their work, the resulting pieces often speak as much, if not more, to late 20th or early 21st narratives of history and identity, than to the historical subject matter the original images depict. There is perhaps a certain inevitability to this, substantially reflected in television or cinematic interventions into narratives of slavery and the slave trade.

The television production of Alex Haley’s Roots probably told us more, or as much about race in mid 1970s United States, as it did about the particular saga of Haley’s family tree. More recently, films such as the biopic Amazing Grace (directed by Michael Apted, and loosely based on the life of antislavery MP William Wilberforce) probably told us more, or as much, about the climate of benevolent liberalism and partiality that by and large characterises the British people’s attitudes to matters of slavery and abolition. The fascinating set of postage stamps issued by the Royal Mail in 2007 probably told us as much as, or more about the Blair government’s questionable Abolition 200 project, as the stamps did about the historical figures they sought to memorialize. Much more recently, Steve McQueen’s own biopic 12 Years a Slave (loosely based on the vivid recollections of Samuel Northup, a free Black man kidnapped into slavery, and his subsequent nightmarish existence) probably told us more, or as much, about the United States in the era of Obama, as it did about slavery in 19th century America. Time and time again, we see the ways in which images of slavery and the slave trade have this fascinating ability to shuttle between considerations of both the past and the present.


Eddie Chambers joined the Department of Art and Art History in 2010, teaching African Diaspora art history. His education includes a Fine Art (Honours) degree from Sunderland Polytechnic (1983) and in 1998 a Ph.D. in History of Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Chambers authored Black Artists in British Art: A History Since the 1950s, published in 2014 (I. B. Tauris), now in its second edition.
 

Jeff Williams presents solo exhibition Bending Moment at Jack Hanley Gallery

Wed. November 11, 2015

Sculpture of different kinds of welded metal stretched between aluminum frames
Bending Moment, 2015, aluminum channel, fossilized corral, twisted steel, welded steel, flocked extension gate, steel cable, extension gate, steel cable, extruded aluminum foam and expanded honeycomb aluminum, 180 x 78 x 30 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Hanley Gallery.

Professor Jeff Williams presents an exhibition, Bending Moment, at Jack Hanley Gallery. The exhibition will be on view November 22 – December 20, 2015.

Michael Smith to perform on live stream at the Tate Modern

Wed. November 11, 2015

Man in baby costume leading graceful ballet dancers in uncoordinated dance
Michael Smith, Excuse Me!?!…I’m Looking for the "Fountain of Youth" 2015 production still courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali.

Michael Smith will perform at the Tate Modern on December 10, 2015, with a screening of his work to be held on December 11. His performance will be streamed live on the Tate website.

Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban present exhibition at Grizzly Grizzly

Tue. November 10, 2015

Idyllic pastoral land with image of upside down farmhouse superimposed
Image courtesy of the artist.

Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban present an exhibition entitled HEX at Grizzly Grizzly. The exhibition will be on view December 4, 2015 – January 30, 2016.

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