By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Two portrait exhibitions will open the fall 2011 season at the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University, beginning Aug. 24 through Oct. 2.
"The exhibitions, through their formal conventions, juxtapose questions of representation, status, gender and race," said guest curator Carmen Gillespie, professor of English at Bucknell.
"The Timothy Greenfield-Sanders portraits feature large-scale presentations of leading African-Americans who appeared in HBO's The Black List Project. 'Self Portraits,' a second collection of autobiographical portraits created by artist Myra Greene, presents a subjective, formal opposition to Greenfield-Sanders' larger-than-life work," Gillespie said.
"Black List Project"
"The Black List Project Volumes 2 and 3: Portraits by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders" exhibition showcases 25 framed portraits by film-maker/photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, who will discuss the exhibition on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center.
Located in the Main Gallery, the portraits showcase luminaries who have excelled in a wide array of professions and endeavors. Greenfield-Sanders created The Black List Project with Elvis Mitchell, a National Public Radio correspondent and former New York Times film critic.
"The two wished to use the photographs and the documentary to explore and, possibly, to redefine the negative connotations of the historically and racially charged word 'blacklist,'" said Gillespie.
"The Greenfield-Sanders exhibition will give spectators an opportunity to delve into questions that emerge from the complex histories of portraiture and the conflation of those histories with the (re)presentation of the raced body. As we are all raced beings, the exhibition will evoke questions and potential dislocations of assumptions for all who experience it," she said.
Gillespie will be teaching Extreme Creativity, an interdisciplinary arts course in conjunction with the exhibitions. Faculty from sociology, theatre and dance, creative writing, art and art history, and music will guest lecture in the course. Students will use the photographic exhibitions as a springboard from which to explore the creative process and to examine fundamental questions about the role and agency of the arts in contemporary cultures. The class will culminate in a public performative response in the Samek Art Gallery Saturday, Oct. 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tim Wise talk
In related programming, author Tim Wise will give a talk Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg. The talk is co-sponsored by several Bucknell offices as well as Susquehanna University, Bloomsburg University, and the Community Alliance for Respect and Equality (CARE).
The author of five books, Wise was recently named one of "25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World" by Utne Reader. He has spoken in 49 states, on more than 600 college campuses, and to community groups across the nation as well as internationally in Canada and Bermuda on issues of comparative racism, race and education, racism and religion, and racism in the labor market.
The "Self Portraits 2002 - 2004: Photographs by Myra Greene" exhibition features photographs by Myra Greene, who will discuss her work in a talk on Friday, Sept. 30, at 5 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center.
Greene says of her work, "I experimented with photographic techniques to create a random patterning and destruction of the photographic ideals of clarity and passion.
"While murky, the images reward with revelation of something, my body and my presence. The body is cropped and photographed as mass. When transformed by process, the body and skin transform into layers of sensibility and emotion."
An assistant professor of photography at Columbia College, Greene explores photographic processes to engage issues about the body, memory, the absorption of culture and the ever-shifting identity of African-Americans.
Located in the Project Room, the Self Portraits exhibition is guest-curated by Tulu Bayar, associate professor of art.
"Myra Greene is one of the most important upcoming fine art photographers of our time, whose work makes the viewer question our culture's obsession with race and identity," said Bayar.
"Her eclectic use of photographic techniques varying from historical alternative processes to digital is determined by her ideas; not the other way around. Her 'Self-Portraits 2002-2004' Series creates a tension between visibility and invisibility of her own body and presence, offering the viewer a critical journey into the way we discuss race and body imagery."
The Black List Project/Myra Greene exhibitions were organized in conjunction with the Griot Institute for Africana Studies and the Department of Art and Art History.
"Author & Punisher"
The Samek Art Gallery will present Author & Punisher on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 8:45 p.m. on the uphill lawn in front of the Elaine Langone Center as part of the university's Arts.Everywhere. festival.
Author & Punisher, aka San Diego-based artist Tristan Shone, melds performance art, drone metal music and DIY custom-built industrial kinetic-sound machines with a twinkling of fun.
Aquarius Records said of Author & Punisher, "The music becomes more than a chunk of industrial metal, it becomes a heaving metallic monster made from industrial metal, the various gears and servos emitting strange buzzes and whirrs, its thunderous footsteps the booming beat, the speaker rattling low end its guttural growl, and the howling vox, the man that commands this beast, and instructs it to do his bidding, a futuristic steampunk, post industrial robotic doom metal dirge, that we just can't get enough of!"
The Arts.Everywhere. festival, scheduled for Aug. 26 through 28, includes numerous activities on campus and in Lewisburg, including a street festival, films, dance, music, poetry and theatre.
"When we were developing the Presidential Arts Initiative, a Bucknell student admonished us to 'Make art everywhere,' said Gillespie.
"We loved the thought and the impulse, and have incorporated 2011 graduate Brenna Loeb-English's advice into the fundamental message of the Presidential Arts Initiative and the arts festival, the first event of the new Presidential Arts Initiative.
"We hope that it and the events and programs to follow will infuse the academic year and the students, faculty, staff and community with the message that the arts are alive and well at Bucknell and that the arts, broadly and inclusively defined, are a fundamental aspect of who we are and what we value as an institution," said Gillespie.
"Not Here" through Nov. 27
In partnership with the international art collective MANIFEST.AR, the Samek Art Gallery is hosting an "augmented reality" exhibition through Nov. 27 that allows visitors to "see" artwork transposed on various locations around campus with their mobile web devices. "Not Here" is set up outside the gallery walls as a "guerilla" exhibition that simultaneously launched at Bucknell and at the Venice Biennale, the world's largest contemporary art festival, underway in Italy.
Fall semester programming
The fall season includes two other exhibitions from Oct. 14 through Dec. 6.
"Remix: Selections from the International Collage Center" in the Main Gallery is organized by the Samek Art Gallery and the International Collage Center in New York and Milton. It is guest-curated by Pavel Zoubok.
"Freehand," an exhibition of artworks created by Pennsylvania prisoners, in the Project Room, is organized by the Samek Art Gallery in partnership with the Lewisburg Prison Project. It is guest-curated by Shawna Meiser.
The Samek Art Gallery is located on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center, and is accessible by elevator. Admission is free. Gallery hours during the academic year are weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., weekends 1 to 5 p.m., and by appointment.
Contact: Division of Communications