Visual Studies Speakers Series, Fall 2009
Mondays at 6:30p.m.
Center for the Arts (CFA) Screening Room #112
UB North Campus
Sponsored by Department of Visual Studies with co-sponsorship from the Department of Media Studies, School of Architecture, Asian Studies Program, the UB Art Galleries, CEPA Gallery and Hallwalls.
Stephen Marc is a photographer and digital montage artist whose work addresses the African Diaspora. Marc’s current body of work, Passage on the Underground Railroad, explores the history of North America’s freedom seekers. In the past four years, he has taken more than 30,000 photographs in 21 states and Canada of people and historic sites, digitally combining them with remnants of slavery and modern cultural references to produce anachronistic narratives that bring the past palpably into the present. The exhibition at the University at Buffalo Art Gallery (on view September 10 through October 18, 2009) is the culmination of the Underground Railroad artwork. www.ubartgalleries.org
In charcoal and pastel drawings up to fifteen feet wide, Melanie Baker investigates symbols of power and the nature of imagery used to exert control. Baker’s artwork has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at venues in New York City including the Brooklyn Museum, the Jersey City Museum, Roebling Hall and White Box. In 2003 Baker was named the recipient of the NYFA Prize. Other grants and fellowships include the Art Omi International Artists’ Colony, the Sacatar Foundation in Bahia, Brazil, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program, the Tyrone Guthrie Center at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, and Yaddo. www.roeblinghall.com
Chitra Ganesh was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, where she currently lives and works. Buried narratives and marginal figures typically excluded from official canons of history, literature, and art inspire her drawing, animation, installation, text-based work, and collaborations. Her artwork has been exhibited internationally in Toronto, Brazil, Italy, India, London, Gwangju, Beijing, Paris and New York including venues such as the Queens Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum. Apex Art, and White Columns. Recent awards include a NYFA Fellowship and Smack Mellon Artist Residency. Her work is included in collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Deutsche Bank, and the Saatchi Collection. www.chitraganesh.com
Polly Apfelbaum creates hybrid works of rare beauty that exist in a contentious, ambivalent space between painting, sculpture, and installation. Often arranged on the floor, spreading around corners in indeterminate shapes, Apfelbaum’s overall forms are comprised of intricate, nearly psychedelic layers of dyed fabric. She has been exhibiting internationally for over twenty years and her works are in many public collections including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Dallas Museum of Art; LACMA, Los Angeles and the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and The Philadelphia Museum of Art. www.pollyapfelbaum.com
Reynold Reynolds works primarily with 16mm and Super 8mm film as an art medium and has developed a common film grammar based on transformation, consumption and decay. Reynolds’ depictions frequent disturbed psychological and physical themes, increasingly provoking the viewer’s participation and dismay. Reynolds’ awards and fellowships include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, The American Academy in Berlin, NYFA and Creative Capital. His films have been shown internationally in film festivals including SXWX, Sundance, Rotterdam, Edinborough and NY. Recent exhibitions of his work include Moscow Bienniale; The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial China; and UCLA Hammer Museum, LA. www.reynold-reynolds.com
Ricardo Miranda Zuniga approaches art as a social practice that establishes dialogue in public spaces. Themes such as immigration, discrimination, gentrification and the effects of globalization extend from highly subjective experiences and observations into works that tactfully engage others through populist metaphors while maintaining critical perspectives. Ricardo’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City; The National Center for Contemporary Art, St. Petersburg; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, NYC. He is an Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at CUNY Hunter. www.ambriente.com
Claire Tancons is a curator, writer and scholar based in New Orleans whose work focuses on Carnival and processions. As a curator for the 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2008), she organized SPRING, a procession inspired by political demonstrations and carnival processions, hailed as one of the biennial’s highlights. As a guest curator for, the 2nd Cape Town Biennial, South Africa, Tancons organized A Walk Into the Night procession inspired by the processional and musical traditions of the Cape Town carnival against the background of the forced removals of the 1960’s. Tancons was the Associate Curator for Prospect 1 New Orleans.
Since October 2008 Heather Pesanti has been Curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. In summer 2009 she curated the exhibition Bad Habits, a meditation on vice and subversion in contemporary art, and also coordinated the Buffalo installation of WALL ROCKETS: Contemporary Artists and Ed Ruscha. Pesanti is currently preparing a large-scale exhibition on Buffalo’s cultural avant-garde of the 1970s, scheduled for spring 2012. Previously Pesanti was assistant curator of contemporary art at Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA and worked with Douglas Fogle on the 2008 Carnegie International. Pesanti has been an adjunct professor at University at Buffalo in the Department of Visual Studies and at Carnegie Mellon University School of Art.
Xu Bing’s artistic practice is an exploration of language. In works ranging from monumental installations to handcrafted books, Xu Bing plays with the written word. Born in Chongqing, China Xu Bing studied printmaking at of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, where he is currently Vice President. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY and the Joan Miro Foundation, Spain amongst other major institutions. Xu Bing has shown at the 45th and 51st Venice Biennales and in 1999 was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. www.xubing.com
The focus of Sarah Oppenheimer‘s work is the feedback loop between constructed spaces and pedestrian motion. She studies how the built
environment and human behavior reciprocally impact each other and most recently, the way that the visual progression of the human gaze is mapped by the contours of a given space. Exhibitions include projects at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Mattress Factory, Drawing Center, the Queens Museum, Sculpture Center, Skulpturens Hus, Stockholm and PPOW, New York. She currently teaches at Yale University where she received her MFA. www.sarahoppenheimer.com
Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer. His work involves a deliberate blurring of the lines between social science, contemporary art and even more obscure disciplines to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to interpret the world around us. Paglen’s visual work has been exhibited at Transmediale.08 Festival, Berlin; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Kunstraum Muenchen, Munich; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and numerous other venues. Paglen is the author of three books. Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA’s Rendition Flights; I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me and Blank Spots on a Map. www.paglen.com
Suzanne McClelland is best known for incorporating language (in particular, snippets of conversation and sounds) into her paintings, prints and collages. Words are rendered with wiry, somewhat manic, calligraphy that either overtake or become absorbed into her abstract compositions. McClelland shows nationally and internationally and her awards include a Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Art and an AXA Artist Award. Her artwork is found in numerous public collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker Art Center, New York Public Library, Miami Art Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. www.suzannemcclelland.net
Keetra Dean Dixon is a designer and artist working under the handle FromKeetra. Her often frazzled NYC based workshops focuses on non-commissioned work, but occasionally finds the lure of a shiny client job too seductive to resist. Her socially-themed messaging, objects & installations create or exemplify heightened emotional moments and often rely on context or unique interactions to complete the work’s narrative. Her work has been recognized on several fronts including the permanent design collection at the SFMOMA. Her ceaseless pursuit of wonder and irreverent whimsy continues to attract media giants such as Nike, Coca Cola, The New York Times, Sony & MTV. www.fromkeetra.com