Visual and Critical Studies News

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Modeling the Universe
Nevada Museum of Art, 2011
Paperback, 88 pages, $20

This publication surveys nearly 80 maquettes produced by Sculpture Program chair Linda Fleming over the past 30 years. Fleming has drawn upon an extensive web of influences to create a body of sculptural works that suggest the coexistence of the mundane, the cosmological, and the scientific. In addition to numerous full-page color illustrations, the book also includes reference images that reveal her natural, scientific, and architectural influences. It includes text contributions by the artist and CCA Sculpture, Fine Arts, and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Maria Porges.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Berkeley Art Museum, 2011
Paperback, 179 pages, $27.50

Writing and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Kevin Killian contributes to this book, published on the occasion of a groundbreaking museum exhibition curated by Lawrence Rinder (former CCA Wattis Institute director) with Matthew Higgs (former CCA Wattis Institute curator). Create showcases work made at the three Bay Area centers for artists with developmental disabilities: Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, Creativity Explored in San Francisco, and the National Institute of Art and Disabilities in Richmond. Florence Ludins-Katz and Elias Katz, who today are recognized as pioneers of the art and disabilities movement, founded these centers between 1972 and 1982. This richly illustrated catalogue offers an overview of the work being made there today, including works on paper, paintings, and sculpture.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Kota Ezawa: Upstairs, Downstairs
University of Idaho, 2010
Paperback, 36 pages

This is the catalogue for Film faculty member Kota Ezawa's exhibition Upstairs, downstairs at the University of Idaho, Prichard Art Gallery in 2010. The catalogue was cowritten by Ezawa, CCA Writing and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Kevin Killian, and Roger Rowley. It presents work in a number of different forms using older technologies as well as new media. The artist selects from sources such as news stories, lectures by prominent figures, fiction and nonfiction film, and even the history of photography for particular elements that comment on our media overloaded environment.

Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 by Allison Byers

Filming Question Bridge: Black Males

On any given day we encounter dozens, even hundreds, of people who are different from us: a different race, a different gender, a different class, a different age . . . We intellectually understand that our own identity is multifaceted, yet sometimes we cannot help grouping people into stereotypes, even within what others would consider a diverse demographic.

A team of four artists—CCA Photography faculty Chris Johnson, two CCA alumni, Hank Willis Thomas (MFA and MA Visual Criticism 2004) and Bayeté Ross Smith (MFA 2004), and Kamal Sinclair—have begun a far-reaching conversation on this topic, engaging a diverse group of African American males in a question-and-answer exchange. Their innovative trans-media project is entitled Question Bridge: Black Males, and it seeks to represent and redefine black male identity in America.

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Jens Hoffmann leads CCA Curator's Forum tour of Istanbul Biennial (Kris Martin's work in foreground) (photo: George Jewett)

The Istanbul Biennial is a key event in the international contemporary art scene -- a highly visible, highly respected exhibition that draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city and exposes them to some of the most engaged and relevant art being made today. In its opening week, the 12th Istanbul Biennial (which remains open through November 13) was attended by almost 4,000 guests, including critics, curators, museum and gallery administrators, and approximately 400 members of the press from 50 different countries. Everything they saw (whether they realized it or not) bore the marks of a CCA affiliate's hand -- specifically two CCA curators, one CCA graphic designer, and one CCA editor. They also saw the work of one faculty member and three alumni; all three alumni had entire galleries devoted to their work.

CCA President Stephen Beal, chair of the Board of Trustees F. Noel Perry, other trustees, and several members of the CCA Curator's Forum (a dedicated group of Wattis Institute supporters) flew to Istanbul for the opening weekend. Stephen Beal remarked, standing at the biennial entrance, "It is very gratifying to see the college so prominently represented here. It is evidence of the major relevance, at the international level, of what we are doing, and the kinds of experiences and access that CCA makes available to its community."

The Curators

It was almost two years ago that Wattis Institute director Jens Hoffmann accepted the invitation to co-curate the 12th Istanbul Biennial. Beginning with that moment, what began as a single thread of connection between the college and the city of Istanbul expanded into a densely packed web involving multiple individuals.

Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Sightlines is the annual publication of CCA's Graduate Program in Visual and Critical Studies. It collects the thesis essays of all of the graduating students. This year's volume features investigations of politics, pop-cultural views of science, identity theory, the meaning of site, and beyond. The students and their essays are:

Levi Barringer: Other Topologies: Transversal Power Across Maps & Diagrams
Abby Chen: On the Edge of Culture, Two 1.5 Generation Artists in America
Jacqueline Clay: BLACK MONOCHROME: Vanessa Beecroft, Race and the Other
Adeleine Daysor: Everyday Myths, Peculiar Wallflowers and Watchful Double Takes
Liesa Lietzke: Felt/Seen, I/it: Probing the Body-World Divide through Rebecca Horn’s Extensions
Emily Macenko: The Politics of Representation: Images of Male Homosexuality during the AIDS Crisis
Rob Marks: The Sublime and The Beautiful in Richard Serra’s The Matter of Time
Marta Martinez: Baring Identities: Queer Women of Color in Neo-Burlesque
Leanna Oen: Under the Microscope: Pop Culture Visualizations of DNA
Danielle Sommer: The Instant and the Interval: Further Investigations in Aby Warburg’s Space-Time
Matthew Harrison Tedford: Tactics of Engagement in Art: Politics, Pluralism, and Program
Kristin Timken: Performing Landscapes: The Politics of Possibility
Lia Wilson: Marketing Madness: The Economy of Outsider Art
Carmen Winant: The Artist is the Athlete: Investigating Practice in Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 1-6
Madeleine Zinn: After the Blast: Reframing Motherhood Beyond the Nuclear Family

Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

On August 8, 2011, CCA alumna Adrienne Skye Roberts (MA Visual and Critical Studies 2009) began a six-week residency at the hip new Philadelphia Art Hotel, tracing her radical roots. "My grandfather, Joseph Roberts, was a Russian Jewish immigrant, a chairperson of the Communist Party, and general manager at the Communist newspaper the Daily Worker. He was prosecuted in 1953 under the Smith Act, wartime legislation passed to stop alien residents from trying to overthrow the U.S. by force.

Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 by Kate Angelo

On May 12, the exhibition Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories opened at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. This show and its beautiful catalog represent the culmination of years of research and scholarship for Tirza True Latimer, chair of the Graduate Program in Visual and Critical Studies.

Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Dubrovnik under Siege: Artists' Interactions with the Old City during the Yugoslav Army Aggression 1991-1992
LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2010
Paperback, 76 pages, $68

Following attacks by the Yugoslav Army in 1991, local artists used the Old City of Dubrovnik -- its ruins, boarded-up monuments, and shop windows -- to create site-specific public artworks. Nensi Brailo (Visual and Critical Studies alumna) looks at three case studies to explore this phenomenon: the site-specific exhibitions of artist Ivo Grbic on the grounds of his home and studio which had been bombed, the impromptu collaborative public art project by professional and amateur artists that took place during Christmastime in December 1991, and Pavo Urban's photographs of the besieged city's architecture and citizens.

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.