Visual and Critical Studies News

Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Peril as Architectural Enrichment
Kelsey Street Press, 2011
Paperback, 96 pages, $16.95

Hazel White (Writing alumna) tests landscape as the subject of experience in Peril as Architectural Enrichment. She questions how limbs want to move in space, when convivial with landforms, treetops, views, and pollen. The poems greet danger -- chopped narratives, lost crops, a fall, inundation -- and the refuge of a familiar curvature: the turning of long lines becoming the same as building shelter in the wild where a peril can be seen and felt, and to write is to know what's near. Like a designed landscape, White's poetry delivers a new sense of orientation.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Cultural Confluences: The Art of Lenore Chinn
Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, 2011
Paperback, 44 pages, $21.95

Edited by Jen Banta (MA Visual and Critical Studies 2009) this book maps the life and times of the Asian American artist Lenore Chinn via essays, reproductions of her exquisite realist paintings, and visual ephemera. Tirza True Latimer (Visual and Critical Studies chair) is one of the essayists. Chinn is an artist and community activist in San Francisco’s diverse LGBT and Asian American communities who paints her life and the lives of others in her social milieu. Her sensibility is informed not only by social justice issues, but also by Civil Rights and her experience of traditional Chinese culture in the bohemian 1970s.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Romare Bearden, American Modernist: Studies in the History of Art, Volume 71
NGW-Stud Hist Art, 2011
Hardcover, 304 pages, $70

Jacqueline Francis (Painting/Drawing and Visual and Critical Studies faculty) coedited this collection with National Gallery of Art curator Ruth Fine. It considers the work of the distinguished painter and collagist Romare Bearden in the contexts of American and international modernism as well as African American art history. Fourteen essays cover the relationship of Bearden's work to literature, jazz, and modern dance; the sources of his imagery, including radical politics, religion, and southern black culture; his professional development and influence; and the influence of the avant-garde, including Cubism and Pop art, on his paintings and collages.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Suggestions of a Life Being Lived: A Queer Exploration of Three Public Themes
SF Camerawork Publications, 2011
Hardcover, 64 pages, $19.95

Adrienne Skye Roberts (MA Visual and Critical Studies 2009) coedited this presentation of contemporary work that looks at queerness as a set of political alliances and possibilities.

Untethered to institutions of sexual or gender normativity and in pursuit of greater freedoms, the work in this book represents queer activism, intentional and imagined communities, self-determinism, and DIY alternative world-making.

The work looks outward toward collective and resistant expressions of queer community existing outside of dominant gay and lesbian culture.

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Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Jason Hanasik (MFA Fine Arts 2009) shot, directed, and edited Gap Inc.'s official "It Gets Better" video, the first video of its kind from a major retailer, for inclusion in the national It Gets Better Project, which is committed to reducing or eliminating harassment of LGBT youth in schools.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Jacques Rancière: An Introduction
Continuum, 2011
Paperback, 208 pages, $24.95

The first comprehensive introduction to one of the most influential French thinkers writing today, this book explores Rancière's ideas on philosophy, aesthetics, and politics. Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Joseph Tanke situates Rancière's distinctive approach against the backdrop of Continental philosophy and extends his insights into current discussions of art and politics. Tanke explains how Rancière's ideas allow us to understand art as having a deeper social role than is customarily assigned to it as well as how political opposition can be revitalized. Engaging with many untranslated and unpublished sources, the book will also be of interest to Rancière's long-time readers.

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Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories
UC Press, 2011
Hardcover, 416 pages, $45

Gertrude Stein is justly famous for her modernist writings and her patronage of vanguard painters (most notably Matisse and Picasso) before they were famous. This book illuminates the less-familiar aspects of Stein's life: the portraits for which she posed, the domestic settings she created with Alice B. Toklas, and the signature styles of dress the two women adopted. Focusing on portraits in a range of media, photo essays, press clippings, snapshots, clothing, furniture, and other visual artifacts, the authors reveal Stein's sophistication in shaping her public image and cultural legacy. The book accompanies an exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, and is coauthored by Visual and Critical Studies chair Tirza True Latimer (with Wanda Corn). It is designed by alumna Lia Tjandra (Graphic Design 1997).

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Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Envisioning Asia: On Location, Travel, and the Cinematic Geography of U.S. Orientalism
University of Michigan Press, 2010
Hardcover, 278 pages, $70

Jeanette Roan, faculty member in Visual and Critical Studies, examines the moment in which the birth of cinema coincided with the beginnings of U.S. expansion overseas. Throughout this period, she proposes, the cinema's function as a form of virtual travel, coupled with its purported "authenticity," served to advance America's shifting interests in Asia. Its ability to fulfill this imperial role depended, however, not only on the cinematic representations themselves but also on the marketing of the films' production histories and, in particular, their use of Asian locations.

Also, by focusing on the material practices involved in shooting films on location—the actual travels, negotiations, and labor of filmmaking—Roan moves beyond formal analysis to produce a richly detailed history of American interests, attitudes, and cultural practices during the first half of the 20th century.

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Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Join us at the many events scheduled to celebrate CCA's 2011 graduating class

Note: This page showcases the wide selection of end-of-year events CCA hosted in 2011. Events listed here are for illustrative purposes only; all events have passed.

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Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Performance artists Cecelia Cooper, Tina Takemoto, and Keith Hennessy

California College of the Arts prides itself in the myriad forms of artistic expression that can be witnessed on any given day at either the Oakland or San Francisco campuses. One such form of visual art is performance art, which offers a dynamic means of expression, one that often has at its core a political statement or reaction.

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